- 16 Mar 21
"I know that the movement and circulation of our peoples is a source of continuing joy for us both."
President Michael D. Higgins has issued his response to the warm greetings he received from Queen Elizabeth II to mark St. Patrick’s Day, 2021.
The compassionate text of the President's message emphasised the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland's shared history:
“Ar son muintir na hÉireann, on behalf of the people of Ireland, I would like to extend my warmest appreciation for your good wishes on our national day. Your special memory of your visit to Ireland ten years ago this year, is one that is shared and invoked regularly by all of us in Ireland, being as it was in its generosity of spirit such a moment of healing. It has done so much to deepen our shared sense of the breadth and vibrancy of the connections between our two countries at every level. It will continue to inspire the achievement of those possibilities in the future that we might share.
"We know St. Patrick’s Day will be celebrated in the hearts of generations of Irish people who have made their home in Britain, and their British friends and family – as well as by the many British people who have happily made their home here," President Higgins added.
"Guím Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona agus síochánta ort agus ar do mhuintir."
In April 2014, President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina made their first official state visit to Queen Elizabeth II – marking the first official Irish state visit to the United Kingdom since the formation of the Irish Free State in 1922.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II reminiscing on her past visit to Ireland in her message to the President.
“On the occasion of your National Day, I would like to convey to Your Excellency my congratulations, together with my best wishes to the people of Ireland," Queen Elizabeth II wrote.
"This year marks ten years since my visit to Ireland, which I remember fondly, and it marks a significant centenary across these islands. We share ties of family, friendship and affection – the foundation of our partnership that remains as important today as ten years ago. Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh go léir.”
Queen Elizabeth II made a historic visit to Ireland in May 2011, visiting places such as the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin, the Guinness Storehouse and the National Stud in Kildare.
Speaking during her visit at the State dinner, Queen Elizabeth said Ireland and the UK are becoming “as good neighbours should be”.