A chairde, a dhaoine uaisle, go raibh mile maith agaibh don chéad mile fáilte.
Senator Linda Dorcena-Forry,
Elected representatives, ladies and gentlemen.
I’m delighted to join you for breakfast as we celebrate the feast of St Patrick and the love of Ireland and our Irish family on either side of the Atlantic Ocean.
It is said that if you laid out a wooden monument for every Irish soul lost on the Atlantic crossing during the Famine you could walk from Cobh in County Cork right here to Boston.
Happily for our emigrants many more survived to build new lives in turn this great city and indeed the United States of America.
Yes the ties that bind are strong.
Particularly here in South Boston, where history and memory and the particular business of what it means to be Irish, are felt and nurtured and lived so mindfully by everyone here.
I see this as a light. The light of Ireland your forbears carried in their hearts on what were so often the darkest journeys.
And today on this feast of St Patrick, you keep it burning brightly, not alone to honour the past, but as a symbol of faith and confidence in Ireland’s future.
And you have good reason. Because a chairde Gael, Ireland is on the way back.
Thanks to the backbreaking work and the stunning sacrifice of the Irish people, at last we’re on the road to economic recovery.
Just before Christmas we exited the EU/IMF bail out.
We were the first country in Europe to do so.
Today the economy is growing.
Over 61,000 new jobs created in the past year alone.
In US terms, that would represent an increase of more than five million extra people at work in one year.
Crucially, we managed to achieve all of this while putting Ireland back on a sound economic footing.
Today I want to say go raibh maith agaibh go leir, thank you.
Thank you to our friends and family this side of the Atlantic who stood with us in our loss and who supported us, and so magnificently, as we started the journey to recovery.
So on this St Patrick’s Day let me bring you and your families not just good news but warm wishes from home.
And may St Patrick himself bless you and keep you in all you do and achieve and hope for in the year to come.
Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig