St. Patrick's Day
Event17 March 2019
The Embassy participated in a series of St Patrick's Day events in Malta. This year's Embassy reception was once again well attended and was addressed by the President of Malta H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca and Ambassador Patrick Duffy. It was President Coleiro Preca's last St Patrick's Day in office and the Ambassador thanked the President for her role and contribution to the strong relationship between Ireland and Malta.
Ireland's Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, visited Malta during the St Patrick's Day period. The Minister led the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Valletta on 17 March and was joined by the Heads of Mission of the Irish and US Embassies. The parade, which extends from the Valletta Gate to St George's Square, was once again well attended and a vibrant, colourful and enjoyable celebration of Ireland in Malta. The festival parade is organised by the Irish Maltese Circle and the Embassy was pleased to be a partner again this year.
The parade was followed by a concert of Irish music and dance in St George's Square. In her address to the spectators, Minister Doherty stated how "The global celebration of St Patrick's Day is truly unique. As green lights encircle the globe and illuminate famous sites for March 17th – including I am pleased to mention the Bombes Gate - we witness a deeply felt expression of a truly Global Ireland by our kin and friends around the world." The large crowd was treated to wonderful performances by the Marsa Scouts, Ocht as Éirinn traditional Irish music group comprised of students from Queen's University Belfast, the Claddagh Crooners and the South Belfast School of Irish Dancing.
The Minister also joined the St Patrick's Day charity lunch in the Royal Malta Golf Club and the St Patrick's Gala Charity Dinner in Naxxar organised by the Irish Emerald Society. In her remarks, Minister Doherty acknowledged the "many emigrants from current and earlier generations who have set up home here in the Maltese Islands and for whose families this continues to be home. St Patrick's Day is a focal point to celebrate this heritage. Tonight we join over 70 million people of Irish ancestry across the globe in doing so."
During her visit Minister Doherty held a meeting with H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta. Minister Doherty also held a meeting with Dr Michael Falzon, Minister for the Family, Children's Rights and Social Solidarity of Malta. Minister Doherty noted how the Ministers "shared insights into how our respective countries are addressing pension reform and labour activation" among other topics.
In the run up to St Patrick's Day itself, Ambassador Duffy joined the festivities for Floriana's St. Patrick's SunDay on 10 March. Ireland enjoys long standing connections with Floriana. In 1895, Cardinal Michael Logue, Primate of All Ireland, visited Malta and was given a rousing welcome by the people of Floriana. In 1905, Floriana won a friendly football match against the Royal Dublin Fusiliers stationed in Malta at the time. The Irishmen gave the victors their green and white striped vests which ever since are the Floriana Football Club's team colours. Both events above have been attributed as reasons for Floriana's nickname 'Tal Irish' (The Irish). Porte de Bombes participated again this year in Tourism Ireland's Global Greening. The Gate represents the boundary between the cities of Floriana and Valletta.