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Message of President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins to the Irish at home and abroad at Easter 2020

The text of the Message, in Irish and English, is available below.

An audio version of the President’s Message is available at https://soundcloud.com/presidentirl/message-to-the-irish-at-home-and-abroad-easter-2020

An Irish Sign Language interpreted version of the Message is available here: https://youtu.be/E19MXj8clNI

 

This Easter 2020 is a challenging time for so many. All of our Irish family, and particularly those abroad, are very much in the thoughts of loved ones during these difficult days, as we strive together to come to terms with the Coronavirus and its consequences.

Over the past number of weeks, all of us have awoken abruptly to changes in our way of life. There is an uncertainty, anxiety and fear to be overcome as the Coronavirus takes hold in our communities. We have all been asked to take more restrictive measures in order to stop the spread of the virus – measures that would have been unimaginable just a few weeks ago and which have presented a challenge to our resolve, to our way of life, be it how we work or socialise with others.

As the number of Coronavirus cases rises and the global death toll accumulates to shocking levels, it would be easy to become overwhelmed.

Sabina and I are greatly aware of the pain and suffering so many of you are experiencing in different ways, we send our deepest sympathies to those who have been bereaved in recent days and weeks as a result of the pandemic, those who are ill, anxious and concerned. We know, too, how difficult it is in so many ways for those who would wish to be with loved ones for whom they are concerned, but whose protection requires that they stay at a distance.

All of what we are asked to do now is about saving lives, slowing the spread of the virus, and caring in the ways that have been suggested to us by medical advice, until a vaccine emerges.

May I take this opportunity again, as President of Ireland, to thank all those who continue to work tirelessly and selflessly to keep communities, wherever they may be, healthy and safe – the many Irish medical staff who are providing the highest standards of care not only at home but across the globe.

To all of you responding to this crisis, including those in retail, pharmaceuticals and other vital sectors providing essential goods and services such as maintaining the settings for medical care, buíochas ó chroí.

The Irish community abroad, which extends to some 75 million in its widest definition, is a community united by its roots to Ireland, but also by these shared values that our Irishness embodies.

Sabina and I would like to convey the sympathy and solidarity of the Irish people at home to our wider global family, as we share together in our different places a response to this challenging crisis, a response that I believe will lead us towards a further strengthening of the values of empathy, compassion, inclusion and shared humanity, values that have always defined us as a nation, and which have been so much in evidence in recent weeks.

Irish people have always made an enormous contribution to the nations in which they have settled, be it temporarily or permanently, and you continue to do so at this time of great need.

To those of you abroad may I express again how deeply grateful I am to those of you who are reaching out a hand of friendship and support to your fellow Irish emigrants, in particular to those who are ill, bereaved or in particular need of assistance at this challenging time. To know of your compassion and practical assistance is of great comfort to their families and loved ones at home.

Easter is a time of hope, of rebirth, of new beginnings. That is what is central in the various religious services, the transcendence of suffering. Nature in its renewal offers us perennial hope as we deal with these difficult times. Just as the seasons change, this crisis, too, will pass, but its severity and magnitude are, to a large extent, in our hands.

Caithifimíd ár misneach a mhuscailt is a choinneáil ionas go mbeimíd réidh don aiseirí a thiocfaidh. At Easter we are asked to muster our courage, keep faith with our possibilities so that we can be ready for our renewal.

In keeping with the Easter message of hope, Irish people are being asked to place a light in their window tomorrow, the Saturday before Easter Sunday, a time so important in the symbolism of our Irish Independence. Sabina and I will light lanterns and place these at the doors in Aras an Uachtaráin, symbolising our shared solidarity and offering a beacon of hope in a time of darkness.

The days ahead may continue to be difficult, and for some I recognise they are more difficult than others, such as carers, but what a memory it will be, and legacy too, when the virus has passed to know that we gave of our best, and what a valuable memory it will be that we continued to save lives that would otherwise have been lost by co-operating and working with the measures suggested to us for the good of all.

As President of Ireland, I send you Easter greetings wherever you may be, and wish you well in your solidarity, vigilance and tenacity during these difficult times when we are tested like few other times in recent memory.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhairimíd. In the shadow of each other we live.

May the hope and peace of Easter be with you all.

Beir beannacht.

 

Is am dúshlánach do chuid mhaith daoine atá sa Cháisc 2020. Tá ár ndaoine muinteartha ag smaoineamh ar ár gclann Éireannach uile, agus go háirithe orthu siúd atá thar lear, sna laethanta deacra seo agus sinn ag iarraidh déileáil leis an gcoróinvíreas agus a iarmhairtí.

Sna seachtainí beaga atá caite, táimid go léir múscailte go tobann ag na hathruithe inár slí mhaireachtála. Ní mór dúinn an éiginnteacht, an imní agus an faitíos a shárú agus an coróinvíreas ag teacht i dtreis inár bpobail. Tá iarrtha orainn go léir glacadh le bearta srianta níos deacra chun scaipeadh an víris a chosc – bearta a bheadh doshamhlaithe cúpla seachtain ó shin, agus atá ag tabhairt dúshlán ár ndiongbháilteachta agus ár slí mhaireachtála, más é an tslí a n-oibrímid nó a tslí a bhuailimid lena chéile atá i gceist.

De réir mar a mhéadaíonn líon na gcásanna den choróinvíreas agus a mhéadaíonn an líon básanna ar fud an domhain go millteanach, bheadh sé éasca ligean dó an ceann is fearr a fháil orainn. Táim féin agus Saidhbhín ar an eolas faoin bpian agus faoin bhfulaingt atá ag cur isteach oraibh ar bhealaí éagsúla agus cuirimid ár gcomhbhrón ó chroí in iúl dóibh siúd a bhfuair a ndaoine muinteartha bás le gairid de bharr na paindéime, agus dóibh siúd atá breoite, imníoch agus buartha.  Tá a fhios againn chomh maith cé chomh deacair atá sé ar bhealaí go leor dóibh siúd ar mhian leo a bheith in éineacht lena ndaoine muinteartha a bhfuil siad buartha fúthu ach a chaitheann spás a bheith eatarthu chun iad a chosaint.

Baineann gach a n-iarrtar orainn a dhéanamh le beatha a shábháil, scaipeadh an víris a mhoilliú agus cúram a dhéanamh sna bealaí a moladh dúinn ar chomhairle na ndochtúirí, go dtí go dtagann vacsaín chun cinn.

Ba mhaith liom an deis seo a thapú arís, mar Uachtarán na hÉireann, le buíochas a ghlacadh leo siúd go léir atá ag obair gan staonadh agus go neamhleithleach, pé áit ina bhfuil siad, chun pobail a choimeád slán agus folláin – an líon mór dochtúirí agus altraí Éireannacha a bhfuil ardchaighdeán cúraim á sholáthar acu sa bhaile agus ar fud an domhain. Buíochas ó chroí libhse go léir atá ag tabhairt aghaidhe ar an ngéarchéim seo, iad siúd in earnálacha an mhiondíola agus na cógaisíochta agus in earnálacha eile ríthábhachtacha a bhfuil earraí agus seirbhísí á soláthar acu, timpeallachtaí don chúram sláinte á gcothabháil, mar shampla.

Is pobal atá aontaithe de bharr a fhréamhaithe in Éirinn atá sa phobal Éireannach thar lear, lena n-áirítear 75 milliún de réir an tsainmhínithe is leithne, agus chomh maith leis sin de bharr na luachanna roinnte atá san Éireannachas. Ba mhaith liom féin agus le Saidhbhín comhbhrón agus dlúthpháirtíocht mhuintir na hÉireann go léir a sheoladh chuig ár gclann leathan domhanda, agus sinn ag roinnt ár bhfreagairt ar an ngéarchéim dhúshlánach in áiteanna éagsúla.

Creidim go neartóidh an fhreagairt sinn luachanna na comhbhá, na dáimhe, an chuimsithe agus na daonnachta roinnte. Luachanna iad a shainigh sinn mar náisiún agus a bhí le brath go soiléir le roinnt seachtainí anuas.

Tá cion mór déanta riamh ag muintir na hÉireann sna náisiúin inar lonnaigh siad, go sealadach nó go buan, agus tá sé sin á dhéanamh i gcónaí acu in am seo an ghátair.

Ba mhaith liom a chur i iúl arís cé chomh buíoch is atá mé díbhse atá ag déanamh cairdis agus ag tacú le bhur gcomh-eisimircigh, go háirithe iad sin atá breoite, ar bhásaigh duine muinteartha leo nó a bhfuil cúnamh ar leith ag teastáil uathu san am dúshlánach seo. Is sólás mór dá muintir agus dá gclanna sa bhaile é fios a bheith acu ar do chomhbhá agus do chúnamh praiticiúil.

Is tráth dóchais, athbheochana agus tosuithe nua atá sa Cháisc. Is é sin croílár na ndeasghnáth creidimh éagsúla, sárú na fulaingthe. Tugann athbheochan an dúlra dóchas dúinn agus sinn ag tabhairt aghaidhe ar an tráth deacair seo. Ar an tslí chéanna a athraíonn na séasúir, rachaidh an ghéarchéim seo thart, ach tá a mhéid agus a dhéine ag brath orainne.

Caithfimid ár misneach a mhúscailt is a choinneáil ionas go mbeimid réidh don aiséirí a thiocfaidh. Iarrtar orainn faoi Cháisc ár misneach a chruinniú agus seasamh lenár bhféidearthachtaí ionas go mbeimid réidh don athnuachan.

Chun teacht le teachtaireacht dóchais na Cásca, iarrtar ar mhuintir na hÉireann solas a leagan ina bhfuinneoga amárach, Satharn Cásca, am atá chomh tábhachtach sin i siombalachas neamhspleáchas na hÉireann. Lasfaidh mé féin agus Saidhbhín laindéir agus cuirfimid sna doirse in Áras an Uachtaráin iad, mar shiombail na dlúthpháirtíochta roinnte agus mar léas dóchais i dtréimhse dhorcha.

D’fhéadfadh sé go mbeidh na laethanta amach romhainn fós deacair, agus tá a fhios agam go mbeidh siad níos deacra ag daoine thar a chéile, amhail lucht cúraim, ach nach iontach an chuimhne agus an oidhreacht a bheidh ann nuair a bheidh an víreas caite, go mbeidh a fhios againn go ndearnamar ár ndícheall  agus gur leanamar orainn ag sábháil beatha a chaillfí murach go ndearnamar comhoibriú agus na bearta a moladh dúinn á gcur i bhfeidhm ar mhaithe linn go léir.

Mar Uachtarán na hÉireann, tugaim beannachtaí na Cásca daoibh, pé áit ina bhfuil sibh, agus guím gach rath oraibh agus sibh i gcomhar lena chéile, go hairdeallach agus go diongbháilte le linn na tréimhse deacra seo agus promhadh á chur orainn níos mó ná a cuireadh le blianta beaga anuas.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhairimid. Go raibh dóchas agus síocháin na Cásca libh go léir.

Beir beannacht.