Seasons greetings

Merry Christmas President of Ireland’s Christmas message (thanks to Liam and the team at the Irish Emigrant) Teachtaireacht na Nollag o Uachtaran na hEireann Ag am seo na Nollag cuirim beannacht om’ chroi chugaibh as Aras an Uachtarain. Spreagann spiorad na Nollag muid chun ceiliuradh a dheanamh ar gach rud ata maith agus fonta inar saol, go hairithe sa bhaile, sa phobal agus sa chomharsanacht ina maireann muid. Cuireann daoine stro orthu fein chun teacht le cheile i ngrupai teaghlaigh agus cairde ag an am seo den bhliain, ach is ann doibh siud nach feidir leo. Is mor an togail croi e an oiread sin daoine a fheiceail ag obair go deonach chun solas agus sochas a thabhairt do dhaoine ar an ghannchuid no ar bheagan misnigh. Tharla tubaisti go leor ar fud an domhain i rith na bliana ata direach caite, agus idir iad agus chogadh agus anachain fagadh moran daoine briste bocht. Ach ni raibh muintir na hEireann ar chul lena gcuidiu i gcas ar bith. Ba mhor an chuis mhortais agus mhisnigh e flaithiulacht na nGael i ndiaidh achan tragoide, ba chuma ce chomh mor no ce chomh beag. Smaoinimid anois ar na daoine bochta sin a raibh ar gcuidiu chomh mor sin de dhith orthu i rith na bliana; agus smaoinimid fosta orthu siud a thainig i gcabhair orthu ar bhForsai Cosanta agus ar n-oibrithe deonacha ina measc. Murab ionann agus go leor aiteanna eile ar chlar na cruinne, ta Oilean na hEireann ag eiri nios rathula agus nios suaimhni i rith an ama. Ba mhor an cuidiu e fogra dichoimisiunaithe an IRA Mean Fomhair seo caite chun sochai siochana a chruthu agus a chothu. Mo mhile buiochas le gach uile dhuine agaibh a d’oibrigh ar son na siochana. Go mbaine sibh uilig sult agus su as a bhfuil cruthaithe agaibh. Anois agus muid ag cur smear mhullaigh ar a bhfuil le reiteach againn fa choinne na Nollag, iarraim oraibh a bheith curamach agus tuisceanach ar na boithre agus ar na sraideanna, chun go mbeidh seans ag gach duine sult a bhaint as seasur na siochana. Guim Nollaig mhor mhaith ar gach uile dhuine agaibh, agus bliain ur faoi rath agus faoi bhlath. Maire Mhic Ghiolla Iosa Uachtaran na hEireann _________________ Christmas Greetings from the President of Ireland

At this Christmas time, I send you warmest greetings and good wishes from Aras an Uachtarain. The spirit of this Yuletide season inspires us to celebrate everything that is good in our lives and in particular in our homes, communities and neighbourhoods. Families and friends make a special effort to gather together to show their care for one another and it is very heartening to see that there are many who make it their business to bring hope and comfort to the poor and the vulnerable for whom this can be a particularly difficult time. In the past year we witnessed the awful suffering caused by natural disasters, conflict and poverty in many parts of the world and we saw how generously Irish people of all ages responded to the suffering of strangers. Their greatness of heart and their solidarity with those in need are a source of considerable pride and reassurance. The people of those tragic countries are in our thoughts and prayers this Christmas time, as are all those working courageously on their behalf, among them our own Defence Forces and aid workers. If peace and prosperity are elusive dreams for too many people across the globe, they are now, at last, a precious reality for those who share this island. Last September’s historic announcement of IRA decommissioning was a crucial step towards creating a climate in which trust and friendship can flourish and grow as never before. I thank everyone who has worked for peace and I pray that your work will be rewarded by the fullest use of the hard-earned opportunities that now exist to build a future for all to be part of and proud of. As the wrapping goes around the last of the presents and the countdown starts to Santa’s arrival, please keep each other safe on the roads and on our streets so that this Christmas will bring only happiness and joy into every home. I wish each one of you a Happy Christmas and a peaceful, contented and prosperous New Year. Mary McAleese President of Ireland Finally, spare a thought for those that aren’t able to enjoy Christmas this year, such as the hard-pressed lawyers of east coast law firm Burns & Levinson who will be chained to their desk via a BorgBerry device. More details of their inhumane treatment courtesy of the Boston Globe. You can send your bah humbug emails to managing partner and modern-day Ebenezer Scrooge David Rosenblatt.