This is the time of year for looking back at the departing year and for anticipating the year ahead. It has been another very busy year for the Embassy.
As always, we have paid special attention to our core work of supporting the Irish community here in Britain. 2015 has been a highly positive year for Ireland. With sustainable economic growth underway and employment rising in Ireland, our emigrants are now being encouraged to consider coming #hometowork so as to support our country’s future development.
The result of the Marriage Equality referendum in May was a remarkable moment that has attracted considerable, positive attention around the world. The celebration of the work of W.B. Yeats has been a major part of my 2015 programme and it has been wonderful to encounter such enthusiasm for Irish literature.
The centenary of the Easter Rising will be a major focus for the Embassy during 2016.
We will look back with pride at that momentous week in Dublin and we will also remember those from all parts of Ireland who died at the Battle of the Somme.
Next year will also provide an opportunity to take stock of 100 years of Irish history and to look to the future for Ireland and our relations with our nearest neighbour.
The Embassy will also be keeping a close watch on the debate about the UK’s future in Europe, which is vitally important for Ireland. The Embassy and our partner organisations have a very busy Ireland 2016 programme, which will seek to showcase Ireland’s history, our achievements since 1916 and our cultural heritage.
My wife Greta and I, together with my colleagues at the Embassy, would like to wish you, your family, friends and communities a very happy Christmas and the very best for 2016.
Dan Mulhall Ambassador of Ireland