As we look forward to St. Patrick’s Day, when we celebrate living and working in Ireland, we also realise just how much this country is respected and appreciated.

Once again our Taoiseach and many Ministers will travel to key cities around the globe where they will be honoured at St. Patrick’s Day parades and other festivities. Some may see these overseas trips as ‘junkets’, but in reality our representatives have a very busy schedule, during which they promote Ireland as a tourism destination and an attractive location for investment.

These visits attract very significant positive media coverage for Ireland, especially the traditional visit by An Taoiseach to the White House. At the same time, iconic buildings and monuments on every continent will be glowing with the green light of the Emerald Isle as part of Tourism Ireland’s ‘St. Patrick’s Festival Greening’ initiative. Ireland is certainly unique in the worldwide recognition of its national festival, and we say a big ‘Congratulations’ to the Tourism Ireland team for a truly remarkable achievement!

Here at home we will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with parades, music, sports events and much more, and our ‘party guests’ will include thousands of visitors from overseas. It is a time to celebrate ‘Irishness’, not only for those of us who were born here, but also for the many people from other lands who now live and work in this country.

We at The Firm wish everyone in our diverse, multi-cultural hospitality industry a Happy and Joyful St. Patrick’s Day. On this day, all of us (and many millions around the world) are happy to be Irish.