St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and 17th March, better known as St Patrick’s Day, is our national holiday.
St Patrick’s Day attracts levels of publicity and media attention unmatched by the national day of any other country and provides a unique opportunity to increase awareness of Ireland. Right across our network of over 80 Embassies and Consulates, we use the celebrations to share our culture, history, and values with those who may not be familiar with Ireland and equally with our diaspora of over 70 million.
Niagara Falls Greening (on both the Canadian and US sides)
It is a great time for Ireland to engage with and thank long-standing partners, friends, voluntary and community organisations and Irish communities around the world for their ongoing support and the contributions they make to this country and to the Irish overseas.
St Patrick’s Day is an opportunity to underline our ambitious approach to international relations, and Ireland’s role as a responsible global citizen. It also provides us with a platform to engage with governments, leaders, and influencers, reinforcing our position and key messages on Brexit, Northern Ireland, Ireland’s campaign to become a member of the UN Security Council in 2021-22 and the Irish economy.
During the 2018 St Patrick’s Day season, the Embassy network co-ordinated and supported visits of the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, 29 Ministers, the Chief Whip, Attorney General, Ceann Comhairle and Cathaoirleach to 92 cities across 38 countries to promote Ireland and Irish business. The Ceann Comhairle and Cathaoirleach took part in the officially organised programme for the first time this year.
These visits provided an extremely valuable means of advancing Ireland’s strategic interests renewing relationships with the Irish overseas, providing access to high level interlocutors, enabling enhanced levels of political, commercial and media engagement in the markets involved, generating opportunities for Irish business as well as facilitating discussions on a range of important bilateral issues.
This year’s programme was informed by the goals and ambitions of the Government’s trade strategy Ireland Connected, and in particular, its focus on expanding and diversifying the reach of Irish exports.
Over 1300 events were hosted or supported by the Embassy network as part of the celebrations this year. The Taoiseach, the Tánaiste, Ministers and Irish diplomats participated in 131 high-level political meetings arranged by the Embassy network. Trade, tourism and investment in Ireland were promoted at 197 dedicated business events, attended by over 8,400 Irish and international company representatives.
Over 6 million people attended St Patrick’s Day parades and events around the world. In addition, 304 sites went green for St Patrick’s Day as a result of the Tourism Ireland ‘Global Greenings’ campaign and strong support from the Embassy network.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has proudly supported the St Patrick’s Festival in the commission of their film ‘Pathways- Irish Routes to the Art of the Matter’. The film involves interviews with ten Irish artists around the world in which they explore the creative process and the influence of being Irish and from Ireland on their work.