Ambassador's Seasonal Greetings
News02 December 2020
As we approach the end of, what can only be described as a very difficult year, I would like to take the time to reach out to you and express the wish that you are keeping well. It has been a hard year for everyone. I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of everyone in following public health guidelines, in reaching out to your neighbours or friends or in looking after loved ones. Recent news on the vaccine front is encouraging and hopefully this will provide a solution early next year. In the meantime, please remain vigilant and follow the guidelines on travel, social distancing and mask wearing.
I am well aware that the Irish community, and indeed any migrant community, is saddened by the lack of opportunities to see family and friends. This year’s traditional advent season will not be like the ones we know and cherish, but I am certain that we will find ways to engage with and support one another nonetheless. The Embassy will, of course, continue to offer emergency assistance for the Irish abroad throughout the Christmas and New Year period.
This year saw the cancellation of virtually all events since March, such as the Munich St Patrick’s Day parade, Irish organisations’ functions and a host of Embassy planned events. We recently had a meeting of Irish organisations in Germany and I was delighted by the positivity and efforts which organisations are making to stay in contact and to develop online events. I know that digital gatherings are not as good as ‘the real thing’, but we hope that the Embassy’s range of (online) events can help to minimise feelings of homesickness and to keep alive the sense of community. While we will not be able to have our traditional Christmas functions this year, we have an array of events coming up this side of Christmas: starting at the end of this week with our Irish Friday Club featuring stand-up comedian Áine Gallagher and our New Irish Creatives festival showcasing some incredible new talent running for this whole weekend, and then, finally, our Irish Parent Café on December, 9th. Additionally, we have an exciting announcement about a new event in January.
I would also like to draw your attention to the recently-published Government’s diaspora strategy: Global Ireland 2020-2025, which offers a new approach to supporting our citizens overseas and diaspora networks internationally and was shaped by contributions to wide-ranging public consultations in Ireland and abroad.
Finally, let me offer a heartfelt thank you to our Consulate General in Frankfurt, our Honorary Consulates General in Munich, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Bergisch-Gladbach as well as all the Irish Cultural Organisations and German-Irish Societies for providing much-needed services, sharing of information and supporting the Irish community in Germany throughout these unprecedented times.
Let me finish by wishing you all very happy and peaceful Christmas and most importantly a healthy New Year. We do really hope that we will be able to welcome you back to the Embassy again in 2021.
Dr Nicholas O’Brien