Determination and self-belief needed


President Mary McAleese tonight called on people to muster the self belief and determination that would reinvigorate the country psychologically and economically.

In her Christmas message, the President said Ireland and her people were worth more than being defined by the economic crisis.

“Our history has given us resilience in the face of adversity and maybe it’s time to remind ourselves that we do indeed have many strengths to help us on the journey ahead,” she added.

Ms McAleese sent her warmest Christmas and New Year greetings to each member of Ireland’s family and to friends around the world. She said that while this time of year would reunite families and exiles from abroad, conversation would no doubt turn to Ireland’s economic problems which have brought hardship and heartache into many a home.

“Our people face a painful economic recovery and, understandably, ask questions about what led to our current difficulties,” she said.

“They wonder how long it will take to get through this crisis and what must be done to prevent it from recurring. Mustering the self belief and determination that will reinvigorate our country psychologically and economically is now an imperative.”

The President said Ireland had a dynamic community life sustained by a modern “meitheal” of good neighbourliness, solidarity and volunteer generosity. She paid tribute to the country’s people rich in imagination, creativity, innovation and problem-solving skills and the strong business sector.

“We have the gift of peace that has already transformed life on our shared island and which has huge untapped potential,” Ms McAleese continued.

“We have an extraordinarily loyal global Irish family whose goodwill and experience is an extensive and enduring resource. We have men and women of great ability across the arts, humanities, sciences, technologies, sports and development aid sectors, whose genius enhances Irish life and Ireland’s international reputation."

“Above all, we have a talented and ambitious cohort of young people who deserve the gifts of confidence in their future and pride in their country,” she said.

The President said confidence and pride generated by what we chose to do today and tomorrow would make Ireland the successful, forward looking and egalitarian country it had the desire and the capacity to be.

“I wish each and every one of you a peaceful and happy Christmas and a New Year of renewed hope and faith in Ireland’s future,” she added.