SELDOM have the Irish been in need of a good boost of pride. It's only right that this St Patrick's Day we start the rebuilding process in the eyes of the world.
It's a truly international festival, marked in nearly every major city across the globe. And this year's event is an opportunity for a new beginning.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has struck the right note in Washington. He has told influential US business people that Ireland is far from finished. He said the General Election marked a new dawn for the country. No doubt he pressed home the message in talks with Barack Obama today.
The renewed sense of optimism is palpable. However, it will only be sustained if real improvements take place. There are still so many problems weighing us down.
But today, let's focus on all that is positive about our country. We are still held in high esteem across the world. And that fact is never more apparent than on March 17.