President Michael D Higgins has recorded a Christmas message for Irish citizens in Ireland and abroad, taking his time to reflect on 2014 and his trips around the world.
The President notes the season of hospitality and likened it to the experience he had on his recent three-week visit to Africa and the barriers that were broken during his state visit to the UK.
“Christmas is a season of peace, a time to recall all that can be achieved through reflection, forgiveness and reconciliation. Earlier this year, I had the great honour of being Ireland’s first Head of State to pay a State Visit to our nearest neighbour in every sense, the United Kingdom,” he said.
“It was an immense privilege and pleasure to be thus able to manifest the friendship between our two peoples, who no longer “look at each other with doubtful eyes”, but, rather, with the trustful eyes of mutual respect and shared commitments.”
The message can also be heard in Irish below: