President remembers those who find Christmas ‘challenging’

Ceremony takes place as Christmas tree lights switched on at Áras an Uachtaráin

President Michael D Higgins remembered Irish people living abroad and those who have moved from other countries to Ireland when he switched on the Christmas tree lights in Áras an Uachtaráin on Saturday afternoon.

He said Christmas can be a “challenging time for those who are living far away from the country of their birth and who depend on the kindness of new friends and neighbours as they celebrate Christmas in a new country, and a new home,” the president said at an official ceremony.

“When we light the Christmas tree in Áras an Uachtaráin, we will remember the bereaved who are finding this Christmas difficult; we will remember those on the edge, the marginalised in our society, our homeless people, and those who are worried about keeping a roof over their families’ heads.

"We will think of all those who are sick or lonely or feeling sad or worried; we will have in mind in a special way our new Irish community as they recreate precious family traditions here in their new homeland; we will be thinking of our emigrants, especially those who cannot make it home this Christmas; we will be sending our warmest appreciation to members of the Irish Defence Forces who will be absent from home this Christmas due to peace-keeping duties abroad; and we will remember all the wonderful people who will be working this Christmas to keep us safe and well - the gardaí, the fire service and all the medical staff who will ensure that the sick and the elderly continue to be cared for while the rest of us are enjoying our family celebrations."


The family of the late Munster rugby coach Anthony Foley as well as Jane and Brendan McKenna, founders of the Laura Lynn Foundation, attended the event.