Delighted to wish the Spanish people a Happy National Day from the chair of Seanad Éirean. Feliz Dia Nacional de España
Spain and Ireland share a common past and a
centuries-long friendship that can be traced back to the XVIth (16th) century when the Treaty of Dingle was signed in 1529.Throughout our shared history, there has been a constant flow of Irish people to Spain, from medieval pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, through to the many Irish who found refuge in Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries at the time of The Flight of the Earls.
The many Irish Colleges founded during that period helped not only to preserve a distinct cultural identity but also to facilitate Ireland's engagement with the wider world.
There is an increasing number of Irish citizens resident in Spain, estimated at over 40,000.
As many as 2.3 million Irish visit Spain every year and more than 20,000 Spaniards currently live in Ireland.
Spain is the fifth largest market into Ireland in terms of visitor numbers. For decades, Spain has been Ireland’s second largest EU market for English language training (ELT).
This connection has seen many prominent figures in Spanish public life, including Prime Minster Pedro Sánchez, spending time in Ireland during their adolescence.
I would like to wish Ambassador Ildefonso Castro and all Spanish people a Happy National Day, Feliz 12 de octubre!
Marking the National Day of Germany in the Senate
On the 3rd October 1990 Germany achieved reunification after a long period of division. Ireland is proud of our role in facilitating this momentous event in German history, chairing the crucial Dublin meetings during our Presidency of the European Council, which led to pan-European support for German reunification. Indeed, Chancellor Helmut Kohl is said to have thanked the Taoiseach with the words, “Germany will never forget what you have done for us”.
The relations between our two countries stretch back much further. St Killian who left Ireland from County Kerry and other Irish monks came to Germany from the 7th century and established enduring links between our countries.
This year we marked 100 years since the fledgling Irish State appointed its first official representative to Germany, Nancy Wyse Power, to set up an office to promote Irish interests. Ireland and Germany share a strong bilateral relationship anchored in our strong economic, cultural, social and political links. What defines our relationship is our work together in the European Union, where our countries share a common vision and purpose of how to achieve a stronger and more effective Europe and a better world. I would like to wish Ambassador Meier-Klodt and all Germans, Alles Gute zum Tag der Deutschen Einheit!
Marking the National Day of Cyprus in the Senate
I note the Republic of Cyprus is marking 61 years of independence. The historic parallels between Ireland and Cyprus are striking. They are two small island nations that have struggled to gain independence. Cyprus and Ireland are island countries, located on the opposite ends of the family of European nations. As partners in the European Union, we are pleased to work together to advance our shared interest in our membership of the European Union. Cyprus gave strong support for the full implementation of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the United Kingdom and to the Northern Ireland protocol, which was greatly appreciated.
Since 1964, thousands of members of An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces have served in Cyprus as members of the United Nations peacekeeping force. Ireland has always supported, and continues to support, a just and viable solution to the division of Cyprus, based on the United Nations Security Council resolutions and on the principles of the European Union. We thank An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces for their service to the United Nations' mission and for their contribution to the strong connections between Ireland and Cyprus.
I wish our dear friend, the President of the House of Representatives in Cyprus, Annita Demetriou, the ambassador in Ireland, the people of Cyprus, and the Cypriot community here in Ireland a happy independence day. Charoúmeni méra anexartisías. Happy Independence Day Cyprus.
Cathaoirleach welcomes MEPs from the Midland North West
The working group on the implementation of Seanad reform and its report, written in 2015 by former Senator Maurice Manning, noted that our MEPs find themselves without a formal connection to our political structures. The working group envisaged that MEPs could debate and engage with us on European developments through an audience in the House. The 2018 report, which was prepared under the chairmanship of Senator Michael McDowell, picked up themes and suggested the link with Europe could be done through Seanad Éireann.
As Senators are aware, the Conference on the Future of Europe was formally inaugurated on Europe Day this year. This conference is a unique opportunity for citizens, parliaments, local authorities and especially young people to engage with playing a part in shaping the future of Europe.
Cathaoirleach Senator Mark Daly wishes the people of Malta a Happy Independence Day
Malta celebrates its independence day, having gained its independence in 1964. As two island nations on the periphery of Europe, Ireland and Malta share certain historical experiences. Ireland and Malta struggled for a long time for independence.
Our two countries share a rich maritime heritage and, of course, we are both neutral nations. Our diplomatic relationships were established in 1990 and the long-standing relationships between our people and our shared membership of the European Union make sure that our friendship grows stronger each year.
The Maltese city of Floriana has a football club affectionately known as Tal-Irish, the Irish. The reason for this is that, when the Royal Dublin Fusiliers were playing football against the local team in the 20th century, the fusiliers donated their kit, which was green and white, to the local team. Ever since, and to this very day, the club has worn those colours.
I wish Ambassador Leonard Sacco, and the Maltese people in Ireland and around the world a very happy independence day. Viva Malta Indipendenti.