Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin has called on countries around the world to light up their buildings and landmarks in the blue and yellow of Ukraine over St Patrick’s Day.
Usually landmarks around the world are lit up in green on March 17 to celebrate Ireland’s patron saint, as part of Tourism Ireland’s global greening programme.
However, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Martin believes it would be inappropriate to celebrate as if nothing is going on – and instead would like to see the Ukrainian colours alongside the green of Ireland this year as an act of solidarity.
He has asked the Department of Foreign Affairs to reach out to diplomatic missions about the idea, but the final decision will be up to each individual mission.
Mr Martin told the Dáil that Tourism Ireland has re-examined the theme for St Patrick’s Day.
He said: “The global greening programme, in partnership with Tourism Ireland, has been an enormous success over the years.
“We’re re-examining that for St. Patrick’s Day in terms of how we can interweave this Ukrainian theme as well.
“We have considered it in Government.
“We have evolved our tone and theme of St. Patrick’s Day next week, from an overt focus on Ireland to a broader focus on the fact that Ireland is an active, engaged and fully committed member of the international community that stands by democracy, the rule of law and human rights.
“We will use St. Patrick’s Day, the week basically, to highlight our solidarity with Ukraine and the values that Ukrainian people are standing for.”
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Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling