The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney TD, has announced a virtual St Patrick’s Day initiative, which will see Ireland’s National Day celebrated across the world in a series of online events hosted by Ireland’s embassies and consulates.
Announcing the 2021 St Patrick’s Day plans Minister Coveney said:
“For a second year our St. Patrick’s Day celebrations abroad will be greatly limited by this pandemic.
“To meet this challenge, Ireland’s network of diplomatic missions are planning a series of virtual community, business and artistic events in lieu of their traditional programme of activities and visits. Ireland is a country at the heart of the digital economy. Working alongside the State Agencies and local Irish community and cultural organisations, we will be making full use of technology and the digital platforms to celebrate our National Day across the globe in 2021.
“Although these can never replace an in-person celebration, they will enable us to uphold the quintessential St. Patrick’s Day tradition of gathering the Irish and the friends of Ireland together to celebrate our heritage and the ties that bind us. This St. Patrick’s Day we will celebrate the spirit of solidarity and the commitment of our communities abroad to the fight against this pandemic. We will also look forward to a full restoration of our community, business and cultural activities in the year ahead.
“We are incredibly fortunate that St Patrick’s Day enjoys a unique level of awareness and interest worldwide. Every year it provides our people, businesses and cultural organisations a great opportunity to increase awareness of Ireland, our heritage and our values. In line with the government’s Global Ireland Strategy, these virtual St Patrick’s Day celebrations will sustain this unique opportunity to promote our country abroad despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.”
As Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening is celebrating its twelfth year in 2021, Minister Coveney added:
“I also look forward to continuing the greening of many landmarks around the world in celebration of St Patrick’s Day, as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, including such iconic symbols as the Victoria and Niagara Falls, the London Eye, Leaning Tower of Pisa and Sydney Opera House.”
- maintain relationships with key decision makers, influencers and stakeholders across the world
- acknowledge Ireland’s cherished communities and diaspora
- celebrate the country’s arts, culture and heritage, showcasing both contemporary and traditional Ireland
- enhance international understanding of Ireland as a place to visit, work, invest and study
- widen and deepen international appreciation of our values, policies, culture and global impact
- enhance Ireland’s reputation, visibility and influence
- celebrate movement towards a post COVID-19 world. Spring renewal and resilience while reflecting on the challenging year that has passed
Given that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to severely restrict or prevent the vast majority of the traditional St. Patrick’s Day festivities, the Department of Foreign Affairs will be organising 90 ‘Virtual Receptions’ as a centrepiece for use by Ireland’s overseas missions in their promotional and community engagement activities. Each reception, which will be hosted by the local Irish Ambassador or Head of Mission, will incorporate a message from the Taoiseach and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and will showcase a range of cultural pieces from both home and abroad. There will also be a short promotional video, celebrating the contribution made by many of our Diaspora abroad in the fight against COVID-19.
Given the broad array of rich content being created for St Patrick’s Day, the Department of Foreign Affairs are hosting a ‘Virtual Ireland House’ St. Patrick’s Day Hub – on Ireland.ie. This will allow international visitors a means of finding and viewing activities from across Ireland and globallyby highlighting SPD schedules and content, and signposting people to associated websites. The Hub will enable a diverse audience to experience and share in the collective celebration of St. Patrick’s Day 2021 as well as providing some key messages on Ireland’s values and strengths.
The menu of performances which Missions will feature in their Virtual Receptions celebrates the diversity of contemporary Irish creative talent, drawing on world-class content from partners in the cultural sector and across Government. Participating artists include Cormac Begley, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Kíla, Gemma Dunleavy, Lankum, Lisa Hannigan, Loah, Hothouse Flowers, Nithy Kasa, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Steve Cooney, Clannad, Denise Chaila, Áirc Damhsa Dance Club, Ye Vagabonds, Seána Davey, Saint Sister, Crash Ensemble, Clare Sands and Cartoon Saloon.
It is planned to organise a series of high profile interviews and colour pieces with international media organisations. Connecting into key shows around the world to maximise Irelands reach and impact on the day.