Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney T.D., has announced a virtual St Patrick’s Day initiative which will see Ireland’s National Day celebrated across the world in a series of online events hosted by Ireland’s embassies and consulates. 

The virtual St. Patrick's Day events, the Irish government said today, are intended to acknowledge Ireland's "cherished communities and diaspora" while celebrating Ireland's arts, culture, and heritage by showcasing both contemporary and traditional Ireland.

Minister Coveney said on Tuesday: “Ireland’s network of diplomatic missions are planning a series of virtual community, business, and artistic events in lieu of their traditional programme of activities and visits. Ireland is a country at the heart of the digital economy. 

“Working alongside the State Agencies and local Irish community and cultural organisations, we will be making full use of technology and the digital platforms to celebrate our National Day across the globe in 2021.

“Although these can never replace an in-person celebration, they will enable us to uphold the quintessential St. Patrick’s Day tradition of gathering the Irish and the friends of Ireland together to celebrate our heritage and the ties that bind us.

"This St. Patrick’s Day we will celebrate the spirit of solidarity and the commitment of our communities abroad to the fight against this pandemic.  We will also look forward to a full restoration of our community, business, and cultural activities in the year ahead.

“We are incredibly fortunate that St Patrick’s Day enjoys a unique level of awareness and interest worldwide.  Every year, it provides our people, businesses, and cultural organisations a great opportunity to increase awareness of Ireland, our heritage, and our values.

"In line with the Government’s Global Ireland Strategy, these virtual St Patrick’s Day celebrations will sustain this unique opportunity to promote our country abroad despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.”    

As Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening is celebrating its twelfth year in 2021, Minister Coveney added: “I also look forward to continuing the greening of many landmarks around the world in celebration of St Patrick’s Day, as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, including such iconic symbols as the Victoria and Niagara Falls, the London Eye, Leaning Tower of  Pisa and Sydney Opera House."

The Irish government said that among the key highlights of the upcoming virtual programme are 90 "Virtual Receptions" that will be hosted by local Irish Ambassadors or Heads of Mission and will feature a message from Taoiseach Micheal Martin and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney.

The menu of performances that Ireland's Missions will feature in their Virtual Receptions celebrates the diversity of contemporary Irish creative talent, drawing on world-class content from partners in the cultural sector and across Government. Participating artists include Cormac Begley, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Kíla, Gemma Dunleavy, Lankum, Lisa Hannigan, Loah, Hothouse Flowers, Nithy Kasa, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Steve Cooney, Clannad, Denise Chaila, Áirc Damhsa Dance Club, Ye Vagabonds, Seána Davey, Saint Sister, Crash Ensemble, Clare Sands, and Cartoon Saloon.

The Irish Consulate in New York City has already announced its plans for March 17 - the  'Shades of Green' – Celebrating Irish-America on St Patrick’s Day virtual event:

Delighted to announce SHADES OF GREEN: CELEBRATING IRISH-AMERICA, a special virtual event this #StPatricksDay at 7:30pm ET. Alongside outstanding music, dance & poetry, we’ll hear remarkable stories of Irish-America & the ties that bind our nations.
Info 👉https://t.co/9kcWCKWdo8 pic.twitter.com/otpFEvr1lu

— Irish Consulate NYC (@IrelandinNY) March 9, 2021

Additionally, Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs will be launching the "Virtual Ireland House," a St. Patrick's Day hub on Ireland.ie where international visitors will be able to find and view activities from across Ireland, while global St. Patrick's Day schedules and content will also be highlighted.

The Hub will enable a diverse audience to experience and share in the collective celebration of St. Patrick’s Day 2021 as well as providing some key messages on Ireland’s values and strengths.

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