As the Irish Ambassador to Italy, I would like to extend my very best wishes to Easy Milano readers on the occasion of St. Patrick’s Day 2015.
St. Patrick’s week is a period during which the large Irish diaspora all around the world celebrates our Irishness as well as our connections with home. Irish people at home and abroad also take a particular pride in the fact that so many countries wish to celebrate our national day with us, including in recent years by the “greening” of iconic buildings around the world. I am particularly delighted that The Colosseum in Rome, one of the World’s most iconic landmarks, will go green for the first time ever for St Patrick’s Day 2015.
As part of the celebrations Minister Simon Coveney (Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and of Defense) will join us in Rome and Milan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. With a portfolio that includes food, I know he will be delighted to visit Milan where the Irish pavilion at Milan EXPO 2015 is now nearing completion. EXPO 2015 with its theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” is the perfect opportunity to promote Ireland as one of the best food producing countries in the world while also highlighting the fight against global hunger and under-nutrition, a key component of Ireland’s foreign policy and of our international aid program.
Since my arrival in Italy in 2013, I continue to be delighted by the huge interest in Irish culture in Italy. In 2014 the Embassy was pleased, among other cultural events, to host the launch of the first Italian branch of the traditional Irish music organization Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann. We also hosted or supported events to celebrate Irish literature, film, dance and sport. 2015 is set to witness a further deepening of our cultural links with Italy.
St. Patrick’s week will be closely followed by the 8th Annual Irish Film Festa which takes place in the Casa del Cinema
in Rome between 26 and 30 March. This will be followed by Irish participation in Milan Design Week (11 – 17 April) as part of a program of events scheduled for Irish Design 2015 (www.irishdesign2015.ie); and by plans to celebrate both Yeats Day (13 June) and Bloomsday (16 June) in Italy. For more information on these or any other cultural events taking place please visit our website at www.dfa.ie/irish-embassy/italy or follow us on twitter at @IrlEmbRome Ireland and Italy have enjoyed a deep relationship over the centuries and I am happy to note how strong the Italian-Irish relationship is today on every level: politically, culturally, on the sports field, around the business table and, of course, at a personal level. Our shared membership of the European Union, which remains so important for the future of both our countries,
has brought us closer together than at any time in history.
St. Patrick’s Day represents an excellent opportunity to celebrate this relationship and I wish all Easy Milano readers of every nationality a very happy and healthy St. Patrick’s Day!
Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig.
Bobby Mc Donagh
Ambassador of Ireland to Italy