Higgins hails flood fighters in St Patrick's Day message
PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins hailed the dedicated work of emergency service personnel in this year's winter storms, as part of his 2014 St Patrick's Day message for the global Irish.
As part of his message, President Higgins has also sent his best wishes to emigrants across the world.
The President said he believed that the name of St Patrick was "synonymous with an inclusive and authentic version of Irishness", with its stress on the duty and the joys of hospitality.
"Despite the fact that he was a Roman-Briton who came to Ireland as a slave, Patrick forgave his captors and accepted the Irish he encountered as his own community. We recall the transformative power of his great spirit of forgiveness and generosity."
The message highlighted how St Patrick's teaching was evidenced in the actions of members of the emergency services, local authority workers and neighbours, who reached out to assist those who were afflicted by the recent storms.
And the president added: "On St Patrick's Day, our recent emigrants will, in particular, be foremost in our thoughts."
Meanwhile, 28 heritage properties around the country including Kilkenny Castle, Donegal Castle and Aras an Uachtarain will be painted green on March 17.