Global Celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most well-known national holidays in the world, celebrating the over 70 million members of the Irish diaspora across the globe. Through our network of Embassies and Consulates, and with the support of our State Agencies, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade organises an annual programme of activities and celebrations in over 100 countries. The St. Patrick’s Day programme promotes trade and tourism, and enhances Ireland’s visibility and reputation internationally.
In 2016, the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and eight Government Ministers travelled abroad to six priority markets in order to raise awareness of Ireland as a trade, tourism, investment and education destination. Our Embassy and Consulate network assisted with almost 350 events in cities ranging from Atlanta and Cairo to Tokyo and Moscow; there were St. Patrick’s Day celebrations organised on nearly every continent (we haven’t quite made it to Antarctica yet!) Our business-focused events, which we organised jointly with State Agencies, were attended by almost 16,000 representatives of Irish and international companies.
St. Patrick's Day also provides an annual opportunity for the Taoiseach and Irish Ministers to meet with Presidents, Prime Ministers and a wide range of other key decision-makers and influencers around the world. In 2016 we organised 114 such meetings around St. Patrick’s Day, as well as supporting St. Patrick’s Day parades and festivals through our Embassy/ Consulate network which were attended by over seven million people.
We also participated in Tourism Ireland's Global Greening initiative: 240 buildings and landmarks in 45 countries went green to celebrate the occasion. This was the 7th year of the Global Greening and new greenings included the World Trade Center at Ground Zero in New York, Gateshead Millennium Bridge, Yas Viceroy hotel in Abu Dhabi and the Nelson Mandela statue in Johannesburg. To mark Irish Aid’s commitment to a greener climate, we also greened Ahmed the Elephant in Nairobi, celebrating wildlife conservation efforts in Kenya.
For more information, see St. Patrick's Day