- This year’s St Patrick’s Day – or Irish national day – on March 17 was celebrated online in Hong Kong given the pandemic situation
- The video also features messages from Micheal Martin, Prime Minister of Ireland, and David Costello, Ireland’s Consul General in Hong Kong
Ireland has released a special St Patrick’s Day video to Hong Kong, featuring local singer-songwriter Serrini Leung, double Olympic silver medallist Siobhan Haughey and a song from late singer Anita Mui, to show support for the city amid its fifth wave of Covid-19.
This year’s St Patrick’s Day – or Irish national day – on March 17 was celebrated online in Hong Kong given the pandemic situation.
Rather than only celebrating Irish heritage, the festival also emphasised democratic and humanitarian values in light of the war in Ukraine.
“Our celebrations this year are tempered by the reminder that democracy and the rule of law can never be taken for granted,” Micheal Martin, Prime Minister of Ireland, says in the video.
“And so this year, especially St Patrick’s Day will be a moment to express our values of human fellowship, empathy and solidarity.”
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Home to more than 5,000 Irish people, Hong Kong has had an Irish consulate since 2014 and was the first city in Asia to hold a festival to celebrate the country’s big day, in 2016.
David Costello, Ireland’s Consul General in Hong Kong, spoke of his “overwhelming empathy” for people in Hong Kong who are experiencing the devastating fifth wave.
“You [Hong Kong people] are not alone. The people of Ireland and indeed our European neighbours have walked in your footsteps over the past two years. My overriding national day message to our Hong Kong friends is that Ireland feels your frustration. We feel your anger. Most of all, we feel your pain,” he says in the 30-minute online video, which also includes Irish music and traditional dances.
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Haughey is of Irish and Hong Kong heritage. Not only did she enjoy spending time in the city, but she also recalled fond memories of her holidays in Ireland with her family and friends.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank people for the enormous level of support shown to Hong Kong athletes,” she says in the video.
“It was truly inspiring to see the unifying power of sports, especially when our society needed a boost, after all the stresses of recent events.”
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In the video, singer Leung shares her gratitude for being invited to read the opening line of Ulysses on Bloomsday last year.
Bloomsday is an annual celebration of the life and work of one of Ireland’s most famous authors, James Joyce, who wrote the popular novel, Ulysses. It was published 100 years ago, in 1922.
The video concludes with Anita Mui’s song Life Written in Water, performed by two local musicians. It pays tribute to the late legend who used her star power to help the families of Sars victims in 2003.
St Patrick’s Day 2022 also marks 100 years of Irish independence and 50 years since Ireland’s accession to the European Union.