Ireland Amb. H.E Julian Clare. Photo courtesy of Embassy of Ireland

Ireland Amb. Julian Clare delivers message of hope

Ireland Amb. H.E Julian Clare contributed his St Patrick’s Day speech for the readers of The Korea News Plus with the hopes of overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic as well as carrying out successfully his country’s important work regarding its seat on the United Nations Security Council at the start of its two-year term. _ ED.

Hello and welcome, and let me wish you a happy St. Patrick’s Day, Lá Féile Phádraig. Thank you for joining us in our celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, which falls on March 19.

This is the day when we celebrate the Irish global family with everyone who has a connection to Ireland, wherever they may be, and whether that connection is by birth, family, friendship, the experience of having lived in Ireland, or simply one affection for Ireland.

In previous years we have celebrated together in a social setting. This year, we are meeting, of necessity, online, but we look forward to a time when a meeting is about more than turning on video function and unmuting microphones.

No region or country has been spared the tragic consequences of COVID-19, but the experience of the pandemic has varied widely. It has marked people’s personal lives in myriad ways. Many of you in the Irish community here will have been unable to travel home to see your family in more than a year.

Those of us living in Korea have had the benefit of a health system whose success in combating COVID-19 has been an inspiration throughout the world.

This year, the message has to be one of hope _ hope that our communities and countries, working together, will this year reach the far side of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And also hope that life in its color and feel and vitality can start again and families can begin to live again. Each vaccination administered, every person protected, brings us a step closer to us all being safe.

This year, in Ireland, as we approach the 100th anniversary of our independence as a nation, we are proud to play our part in the wider world.

On Jan. 1, Ireland took its seat on the United Nations Security Council at the start of its two-year term, working to promote international peace and security, including the goal of the Korean Peninsula free from the threat of nuclear proliferation.

In carrying out this important work, we will be drawing on national experience of conflict-resolution; guided by our commitment to peacekeeping, disarmament, human rights, and sustainable development; and, not least, working to vindicate the trust placed in us by the UN membership which elected Ireland to the Council.

A continuing challenge at home remains to manage the consequences of the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union _ Brexit _ including the work to preserve the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process in Northern Ireland.

As a globalized, open economy built on advanced technology and innovation, our place within the European Union, and indeed within the Eurozone, is central to our identity and our future. But the strong bonds of family, culture, history, and trade shared with our closest neighbor, the UK, will endure.

Our work to keep our country safe through the pandemic and to promote and manage the profound task ahead of social and economic recovery and revival is led by the Taoiseach Micheál Martin, and I am delighted that we have a St. Patrick’s Day message from Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

Yeo studied German in Seoul. He has worked as a journalist for the past 40 years. He has mostly covered diplomacy, foreign schools, regional festivals, culture and other areas. He can be reached at or 82-2-6956-6698.