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Michael D Higgins' Christmas message: 'Far too many people missing the security of home'

In his annual address, Higgins called for “a new commitment to social solidarity” both at home and abroad.

Source: Áras an Uachtaráin/YouTube

PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins has called for a “renewed sense of solidarity” with the most vulnerable in society in his annual Christmas address. 

In his message, Higgins said that Christmas, “recalling as it does the birth of Christ…in the most humble of circumstances”, was a timely reminder to support those for whom “there is no room at the inn”. 

“In Ireland today, far too many of our people are missing the necessary securities of home. There are those who are concerned for their access to health services and education, for the right to voice their concerns and experience full participation in our Republic.”

“So as we recall our shared vulnerabilities this Christmas let us resolve to forge together a renewed sense of solidarity, one shaped to fit and encompass all our citizens.”

Higgins paid tribute to those working with the most vulnerable in Irish society, praising the work that has “marked them out as role models in life.”

It is from those groups and individuals we can take inspiration as we envision and build our shared future. 

The President raised global conflict and called on Irish citizens to show solidarity with those experiencing hardship abroad. 

“Today, many of our fellow citizens across the world live within the dark shadows of conflict, persecution, violence, injustice and poverty.”

“As global citizens we must never hesitate to raise our voice in union with those who pursue a more just world, making new connections with each other and with the vulnerable planet we all inhabit.”

Higgins also took the opportunity this year to pay tribute and send “special thanks” to peacekeepers abroad and to their families.

The President spoke of the origins of Christmas to reinforce his message. 

“We must also ensure there is room in our inn for those, who like Mary and Joseph two thousands years ago, have undertaken long and difficult journeys in search of safety and a future of hope.”

Hospitality, Higgins said, is the “great universal and unifying value that connects all of the faith systems and languages of the world” as he called on people to welcome migrants into Ireland. 

It is appropriate then that we should respond to the changing patterns of migration into our country in a spirit of openness and hospitality, welcoming and supporting those who wish for a better life or simply for a life free from fear.

Leaving behind “the dark days of mid-winter”, Higgins closed his speech calling for “a renewed commitment to social solidarity.”

“Let us ensure that all those who are vulnerable in Ireland and across the world do not walk alone but know that we are willing to travel beside them on their difficult journeys, their journeys of hope.”

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