‘Ireland’s possibilities are still to be imagined and realised

Christmas greetings from our President, Michael D Higgins

I would like to send my best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to everyone here in Ireland and to our extended global family across the world.

While we have nearly always tended to think of Christmas as a happy time as families come together to enjoy the festive season, I am also conscious that, for some of you, this year will be a Christmas where unemployment, financial insecurity or the absence of a loved one now living abroad will cast a dark shadow. For many others, it will be a sad time due to illness or family bereavement.

So these are troubling and testing times for so many but while acknowledging the hurt inflicted, the dismay caused, by the mistakes that were made, I also believe that the Irish people have the resilience, the fortitude and the wisdom to move beyond any destructive cynicism and recrimination and have the capacity and determination to move on and craft a new positive form of their Irishness.

It has been truly inspiring for me to witness the innovation and the resourcefulness that have come to the fore in our time of economic need and to see, across this island, communities renewing themselves in social solidarity through co-operation and together showing practical concern for each other and particularly for the less fortunate in this country and, indeed, throughout the world.

While the wider global environment is worrying, we are seeing some positive results in our economic affairs. Our exports continue to grow; many of our companies have become more innovative and competitive; and direct inward investment is robust but the great challenge of creating jobs, reducing unemployment remains.

We Irish also remain a nation of great cultural and sporting achievement, and this continues to enrich our society and enhance our reputation abroad. There is also widespread support for a post-recession future driven by our people’s creativity and grounded in a real economy that harnesses our indigenous strengths and adds lasting value to our society.

I am confident that, drawing on our shared strengths and our ethical values, we will rebuild a sustainable and strong economy while also at the same time building a just and inclusive society that ensures the participation of all its citizens.

Ireland is a country and a people moving forward with a common purpose and a shared Aisling of hope and courage; a country that will marry the best of its old wisdom with the new found learning wrought from the chastening experience of recent troubled times.

We are a country of which there is much to be proud; whose possibilities are still to be fully imagined and realised; and whose people I am honoured to serve.

I wish you all a peaceful Christmas and a happy New Year.

Ba mhaith liom beannachtaí na Nollag agus na hAthbhliana a thabhairt do gach duine anseo in Éirinn agus dár muintir dhomhanda atá scaipthe ar fud na cruinne.

Cé gur gnách linn smaoineamh ar an Nollaig mar thréimhse shona, agus clanna ag teacht le chéile chun taitneamh a bhaint as an séasúr féiltiúil, tá a fhios agam freisin, go mbeidh cuid agaibh faoi scáil i mbliana le linn na Nollag mar gheall ar an dífhostaíocht nó ar an neamhshláine airgeadais nó mar gheall ar dhuine atá gar do bhur gcroí a bheith imithe ó bhaile agus ina chónaí thar lear. Beidh daoine go leor eile faoi bhrón de bharr tinnis nó báis sa chlann.

Is saol corrach agus deacair atá ag cuid mhaith daoine faoi láthair, ach cé go n-admhaím an goilleadh agus an díomá atá ann de bharr na ndearmad a rinneadh, creidim go bhfuil an teacht aniar, an neart agus an chríonnacht ag muintir na hÉireann agus go sáróimid an tsoiniciúlacht dhochrach agus an t-imcháineadh agus go bhfuil an cumas ionainn dul chun cinn agus leagan nua dearfach den Ghaelachas a chruthú.

Ba chúis inspreagtha domsa a bhí ann, go fírinneach, an nuáil agus an tseiftiúlacht atá tagtha chun cinn in am seo an ghátair sa gheilleagair a fheiceáil, agus na pobail á n-athnuachan féin i ndlúthpháirtíocht shóisialta trí chomhar a dhéanamh le chéile ar fud an oileáin seo, agus cúram á dhéanamh ar bhealaí praiticiúla dá chéile agus go háirithe díobh siúd ar díol trua iad sa tír seo agus, go deimhin, ar fud an domhain.

Cé gur cúis imní an timpeallacht leathan dhomhanda, tá roinnt torthaí dearfacha le feiceáil inár gcúrsaí eacnamaíochta. Tá borradh faoin easpórtáil; tá roinnt mhaith dár gcuideachtaí ag éirí níos nuálaí agus níos iomaíche; agus tá neart san infheistíocht dhíreach isteach. Ach tá dúshlán mór fós romhainn - jabanna a chruthú agus an dífhostaíocht a laghdú.

Tá éachtaí fós á ndéanamh againne, muintir na hÉireann, i gcúrsaí spóirt agus cultúir agus cuireann sin le saibhreas ár sochaí agus lenár gcáil thar lear. Tá tacaíocht leathan ann, freisin, do thodhchaí iar-lagtrá eacnamaíche, a bheadh á tiomáint ag cruthaitheacht ár muintire agus a bheadh bunaithe i bhfíorgheilleagar a bhainfeadh leas as ár neart dúchasach agus a chuirfeadh luach buan lenár sochaí.

Táim dóchasach, agus muid ag baint leasa as ár gcomhneart agus ár luachanna eiticiúla, go dtógfaimid geilleagar láidir inbhuanaithe an athuair agus ag an am céanna go dtógfaimid sochaí chóir agus chuimsitheach a chinntíonn rannpháirtíocht a cuid saoránach go léir.

Is tír í Éire ina bhfuil a muintir ag gluaiseacht chun cinn le comhchuspóir agus le comhaisling an dóchais agus an mhisnigh; tír a cheanglóidh feabhas a saoithiúlachta le saíocht nua-aimsithe atá saothraithe as taithí umhlaithe na mblianta achrannacha deireanacha seo.

Is tír í seo a bhfuil cuid mhaith údair bhróid againn aisti; a bhfuil a cuid féidearthachtaí fós le samhlú go hiomlán agus le baint amach; agus ar mór an onóir dom fónamh dá muintir.

Guím Nollaig shíochánta agus Bliain Nua shona daoibh go léir.

 

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