President Michael D Higgins has called on Irish citizens to follow the values of St Patrick as they face the coronavirus pandemic.
He said that values such as solidarity and concern for fellow citizens are associated with Ireland’s patron saint – and are what is needed in the country now.
He made the comments during his annual St Patrick’s Day address to the nation.
President Higgins said: “Today, as the world faces the global spread of the coronavirus we are called more than ever to follow the values embodied in the story of St Patrick.
“Those values of solidarity and concern for the well-being of our fellow citizens will play a fundamental role in our effective confronting of the challenge with which we are now presented.
“As members of that global community we must commit to working in a spirit of solidarity and co-operation, joining with citizens across the world in fighting this global health emergency.
“On this day when we celebrate the feast of our patron saint, Patrick, let us draw on the best of our Irishness in order to create a safer future for ourselves and all those who live on our shared, vulnerable, planet.”
It comes as pubs have now closed across Ireland until at least 29 March and the public have been advised not to have house parties.
The closure of the pubs has seen around 50,000 people put out of work, in what an industry insider described as ‘biggest loss of jobs in the history of the State’.
Schools and colleges have also closed until at least 29 March.
Take a look at the video of President Higgins’ speech below.
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling