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President and Sabina Higgins host Garden Party on Sustaining and Conserving our Oceans, Seas and Marine Resources

Date: Thu 27th Jun, 2024 | 15:00

Garden Party also honours the RNLI, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year

Uachtarán na hÉireann, President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina this afternoon hosted a Garden Party at Áras an Uachtaráin in support of UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 – Sustaining and Conserving our Oceans, Seas and Marine Resources.

Recent research highlights the dire state of our oceans, with the total amount of vertebrate sea life, including fish, reducing by more than a third since 1970.

At today’s Garden Party, the President and Sabina welcomed representatives from organisations across the country doing such important work to sustain and conserve our oceans, including Clean Coasts, Seal Rescue Ireland, Water Safety Ireland, Fair Seas, and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group.

The Garden Party also served as an opportunity to recognise the work of the RNLI, which is this year celebrating its 200th anniversary.

Speaking at the event, the President said:

“Mar Uachtarán na hÉireann, may I express my deepest gratitude to the RNLI for your dedication, your vital service to coastal communities across Ireland, saving countless lives at sea and demonstrating an unwavering commitment to safety and community.

Working for an emergency service is not easy. It involves witnessing many traumatic events, making split-second decisions that have far-reaching consequences, remaining calm and reassuring in very difficult circumstances and, of course, putting oneself at risk while working to save the lives of others. Yours is a remarkable legacy of courage, bravery and service which is an inspiration to us all.

Today we are celebrating the spirit of active participation that is the beating heart of a true community; and that strength of character, that courage, that commitment to society and that deep concern for others that marks out the true heroes and role models in life; the people who do not stand back and wait for others to act but who believe in an active and fully engaged citizenship.”

Today’s Garden Party was the fifth in a series of six garden parties and a concert which will be hosted by the President and Sabina this summer, and the 78th Garden Party hosted by them over the course of the President’s two terms in office.

The tradition of hosting Garden Parties at Áras an Uachtaráin was commenced by the first President of Ireland, Douglas Hyde. Each year, thousands of members of the public and representatives of organisations across the country are welcomed to the Áras at a series of Garden Parties. It is expected that a total of approximately 3,500 people will attend this year’s Garden Parties.