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24th Dec 2021

Michael D Higgins praises Ireland’s resilience and courage in Christmas message

Katy Brennan

“I offer to each and every one of you my warmest greetings and wishes for a peaceful and happy Christmas.”

President Michael D Higgins has paid tribute to people of Ireland amid the Covid pandemic in his Christmas and New Year message.

He praised people for showing courage, resilience, patience and deep commitment to others throughout a difficult year.

“This last year has been a challenging one and for some more than others,” he said.

“Throughout this past year we have again been called on to change and adapt our lives as we continue to battle with the great global challenge that is the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Your response has been one that showed courage, resilience, patience and a deep commitment to others. May I pay tribute to you all for your efforts.

“The successful roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine programme to citizens across the country has enabled a sense of renewed hope and possibility to enter our lives, for which we can be deeply grateful.”

The president said he is aware there are many people who have lost loved ones to the virus this year and offered his deepest sympathies to them.

He continued: “All of you, in your lived daily lives, have been called upon to play your own part as we faced the challenge of Covid-19. It is a challenge to which you have risen with commitment and generosity, making the sacrifices necessary to protect your loved ones and your fellow citizens.

“It has been heart-warming to witness all of our people, across different generations, offering and delivering those expressions of solidarity, kindness, compassion and care for others, and to be given the assurance that those values remain as a source of inspiration in the lives of our communities.

Mr. Higgins went on to address the pressing issue of climate change and said the pandemic has highlighted how “interconnected and interdependent” everything is and opened our eyes to the issue.

“We must seek to define and engage in new models of living… if we are to protect our planet, and ensure it remains hospitable to current and future generations.

“Our new models of living, we must not forget, are much more than protection. They offer a better life in so many ways. They invite us to better, more sustainable, flourishing, equal lives together, on a shared planet.”

The president concluded by wishing the public a safe and happy Christmas and a New Year full of hope.