This Christmas is a time of reunion.
A time where families and friends come together, share stories, share laughs and give thanks for each other. It is a time of year that we long for but can be over all too quickly. The return flight casts a long shadow.
Too many of you, our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, Irishmen and Irishwomen had to leave your homes in search of a better life. Once again foreign lands benefit from the experience and passion of our people.
But you will always be of Ireland. There will always be a place for you here. We want you home to work, to live, and to raise your own family. This is why I want this Christmas to be different to be a turning point.
Ireland is coming back. We are rising from those dark days, we are growing strongly, good jobs are being created and the future is filled with hope once again. Our job is to keep this recovery going, to give you every reason to put off that return trip, to ask about that job, to see for yourself the opportunities at home.
I know not every sector is recovering as fast but we are on the right path. Next year I hope we welcome home more of our people than leave.
In the meantime we will finish the job and deliver a recovery for you, and for your family, so that your next trip home can hopefully be on a oneway ticket. So to those of you coming home or working abroad this Christmas, to all your loved ones here at home in Ireland anticipating your arrival or hoping for your return, and to all of the Irish people, I wish you a happy and a peaceful Christmas.
Nollaig shona daoibh go léir.