Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig ar Ghaeil is cairde Gael Brisbane is Queensland – guím gach rath agus séan ar gach duine atá ag ceiliúradh na Féile níos mó anois ná riamh is an bhliain deacair is dúshlánach a bhí againn ón am seo anuraidh.

Normally we are gearing up for the explosion of fun and tremendous excitement that the festivities and celebration of our national holiday, St Patrick’s Day, allow us, young and old, to experience at this cultural highpoint of the global Irish diaspora experience. This year our celebrations must be more restrained, more in line with sombre and grave situation that so many communities across the globe are facing due to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ireland has been badly impacted by the pandemic so I would ask you to share a positive thought and pray for our families and friends at home. Let me take this opportunity to most sincerely thank the brave women and men who staff the frontlines of the fight against the pandemic.  Go raibh míle maith agaibh is nár laga sibh.

Notwithstanding the challenges we face, we still have much to celebrate and to be thankful for.  While Australia has suffered great challenges from COVID-19 pandemic, some degree of normality has been possible and sport and other communal activities, subject to COVID compliant protocols, have continued. Even if we can’t gather for our customary get togethers, parades and festivals, we can make time to reflect on the richness of our culture, shared by so many people across Australia and the globe.  History has proven that we Irish, in Queensland or wherever we are in the world, are resilient and resourceful people. We have endured and overcome past challenges and will, I have no doubt, do so again. 

Have a happy, safe and enjoyable St Patrick’s Day.

HE Breandán Ó Caollaí
Ambassador of Ireland to Australia