New Year Message
By Irish America Staff
February / March 2015
President Michael D. Higgins’s Christmas New Year message, broadcast from Aras on Uchtairan on December 31, remembered the Irish abroad, those who assist them, and the communities which have welcomed them.
Higgins also encouraged those “who may be feeling distressed or lonely to look beyond the long dark nights, to the promise once again, of the dawning light of Spring,” adding that “the story of Bethlehem, of the homeless Joseph and Mary anticipating the birth of their child, is at the heart of this holiday and it invites us to reflect on how we relate to the stranger, the vulnerable in our midst.”
He went on to say that Christmas is a season of peace, “a time to recall all that can be achieved through reflection, forgiveness and reconciliation,” and spoke about the “great honor” of being Ireland’s first head of state to pay a state visit to the U.K.
“It was an immense privilege and pleasure to be thus able to manifest the friendship between our two peoples, who no longer look at each other with doubtful eyes,” he said.