President praises delegates' efforts


PRESIDENT MARY McAleese has praised delegates who participated in the Global Economic Forum for trying to help the State identify a way out of its current economic difficulties.

Ms McAleese said the forum highlighted that Ireland was “considerably more than an island on the edge of Europe, but the centre of a vast networked community”.

“We know you are busy people,” she said. “And yet, when asked, you put your own preoccupations aside and came to Dublin to share your wisdom and experience with us as we try to construct a pathway through today’s economic difficulties to a sustainably prosperous future for our people.”

Speaking at a reception in Áras an Uachtaráin for delegates, Mrs McAleese said, regardless of their ties to the country, the participants’ “interest in and commitment to” Ireland was valued.

“You are an important example of that other great Irish characteristic – our investment in connectedness and in community, in reinforcing and maintaining family bonds and in helping one another through life’s ups and downs.

“Your being here helps all of us refocus on our capacity to overcome great difficulties, a capacity, indeed a characteristic, which president John Fitzgerald Kennedy called ‘the quality of the Irish’.”

She said Mr Kennedy had noted that “the problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by sceptics or cynics, whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities”.

“This forum brings together people who have a facility for thinking and acting their way through problems,” she said.

Mrs McAleese said many people were “deep in a trough of pessimism”, but called on the public to be positive about the times ahead.