Ceiliúradh: Video, Audio, Text
Published: Tue 15th Apr, 2014 | 16:39
Remarks by Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland
Royal Albert Hall, London
Thursday, 10th April 2014
Your Royal Highnesses, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent:
A Thaoisigh, A Thánaiste:
A Chairde go léir:
Nach bhfuil sé cóir go dtréaslímid leis na gceoltóirí is leis na hamhránaithe den scoth atá ag glacadh páirt san ócáid cheiliúrtha seo.
Isn’t it right and proper that we congratulate the first-rate musicians and singers who are taking part in this celebratory occasion.
In this magnificent venue and on this wonderful and historic occasion, I wish to extend my thanks to a number of people who have made this evening’s celebration, and indeed the past few days, so positive and uplifting.
First of all, Sabina and I wish to express our deep appreciation to our hosts – Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth and His Royal Highness, the Duke of
Edinburgh, for the gracious welcome and warm hospitality they have extended to us and to our delegation.
The evident grace and warmth with which they have prepared for, and arranged, my State Visit is reflective of the true and deep friendship that now exists between Ireland and the United Kingdom.
I am delighted that their Royal Highnesses, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent have been able to join us this evening, and we all hope that they will have been sufficiently entertained to transmit a positive review to the Queen.
This evening’s celebration demonstrates once again the importance of culture in general and, in particular, the depth and richness of our Irish cultural tradition.
What we have seen and heard also shows how deeply interwoven are the wider cultures of these islands, and how they have influenced and enriched each other.
So may I thank all of our artists for the authenticity, generosity and excellence of their performances.
I also wish to acknowledge, with deep gratitude, the work of Culture Ireland, the production team and all the people here in the Royal Albert Hall whose fruitful collaboration has made this wonderful night possible.
This celebration, above all, is for the thousands of Irish people in this Hall who have made Britain their home or whose parents or grandparents did,as well as the friends, neighbours, relatives and in-laws, they have brought along.
I thank you most sincerely for the fidelity you have shown to Ireland over many years; for the contribution you have made to the development of Britain; and for your part in the consolidation of an enduring friendship between our two countries.
You remain a cherished member of the Irish family. I thank all of you who have travelled to be here, be your journeys long or short.
On a night like this, it is great to be Irish. And it is even better to share it in the company of our friends in Britain. Ar aghaidh leis an gceol.
Beannachtaí oraibh go léir.