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Message from President Higgins for Primary School Students

Date: Tue 22nd Jun, 2021 | 19:26

Is mian liom gach beannacht a ghuí oraibh, a dhaltaí bunscoile, agus sibh ag teacht chun deireadh na bliana scoile, agus ag tabhairt aghaidh anois ar na laethanta saoire fhada atá romhaibh.

May I send my very best wishes to all our primary school children as you enter the final weeks of this school year.

It has I am aware been a difficult, and in some ways strange, year for all of you. At school, you have been asked to follow new rules and restrictions in order to keep your fellow pupils, teachers and their families safe. At home, too, you have had to find different ways to keep in touch with your friends and to pursue your hobbies and interests as you played your important part in preventing, as much as possible, the spread of Covid 19.

Following your Christmas break you were all asked to once again learn at home for some time, and for those of you who could, to work online with your teachers and your classmates until it was safe for you to return to your schools.

You have also, of course, been unable to enjoy many of the events that are normally such an important part of the school year for many of you, including religious ceremonies such as First Holy Communion and Confirmation ceremonies, Christmas plays and concerts, sports days, tours and outings.

May I say, as President of Ireland, how very impressed I have been at the cheerful and responsible way in which you have responded to the sacrifices asked of you throughout this challenging time. You have constantly placed the health and safety of others above your own wishes and needs, and that is something of which you, along with your teachers and parents, can be very proud indeed.

Although this has been a difficult year it has also, I hope, been a year during which you learnt much about the importance of people pulling together, of taking care of their friends and of all the people with whom they share a community. That is a greatly important lesson, and one that I hope you will carry with you for the rest of your lives.

As the school year draws to its close, I assure you it is one that we, the adults who have benefitted so much from your selfless actions, will always remember, grateful for and very proud of a generation of children who are so generous and so willing to change their behaviour for the benefit of others.

For some of you, this is the end of your primary school journey and you are no doubt looking forward to commencing secondary school in September. I wish you every happiness and success as you start that new chapter in your lives.

For those of you who will be returning to your primary schools in the autumn, I greatly hope it will be a year during which you will be able to resume all of the activities which make your school lives so pleasurable.

To all of you I send my deepest gratitude and my best wishes for a very happy and enjoyable summer holiday. Bain gach sult as an samhradh. Make the most of these long summer days and enjoy yourselves as you spend time with your families and friends.