A Message from Ireland’s Ambassador to Canada
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A Message from Ireland’s Ambassador to Canada

A Message from Ireland’s Ambassador to Canada


Beannachtaí na Cásca oraibh go léir. Happy Easter to you all.

I hope you are all continuing to stay safe and well in these most challenging times.

As we at the Embassy continue our work of providing consular and other essential services to our community across the country, it is heartening to learn of the selfless voluntary efforts of so many of you within our community organisations to support each other, and in particular vulnerable members of the community in this time of need. As we work to manage the ongoing consequences of the COVID-19 emergency, we will continue our outreach to partners across the country and look forward to discussing with you how we can provide practical support for your collective efforts in the weeks ahead.

Easter Message from President Michael D. Higgins

Easter is a time of hope and renewal and in that spirit, I would like to share with you the Easter message from Uachtarán na hÉireann, President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins. You can listen to the audio version HERE.

In his message, President Higgins conveys “the sympathy and solidarity of the Irish people at home to our wider global family, as we share together in our different places a response to this challenging crisis, a response that I believe will lead us towards a further strengthening of the values of empathy, compassion, inclusion and shared humanity, values that have always defined us as a nation, and which have been so much in evidence in recent weeks.” President Higgins goes on to express his gratitude to our diaspora who are “reaching out a hand of friendship and support to your fellow Irish emigrants, in particular to those who are ill, bereaved or in particular need of assistance at this challenging time. To know of your compassion and practical assistance is of great comfort to their families and loved ones at home”. We in the Embassy echo the President’s gratitude – we are very proud of how our diaspora in Canada exemplifies those values of solidarity and empathy which are needed more than ever in these difficult days.

‘Shine Your Light’ Initiative

As part of the Government of Ireland’s COVID-19 Community Call, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has undertaken an initiative in partnership with RTE called ‘Shine your Light’. This is an expression of national solidarity and collective hope for the future, in recognition of the unprecedented times in which we are living. In keeping with the tradition of a lighted candle in the window which has long been a sign of welcome and of solidarity in Ireland, the initiative will see lighted candles, other lights, and symbolic equivalents, placed in windows across Ireland. The initiative will air on RTE tomorrow night (Saturday) at 21:00 Irish time.

Our Mission network has been asked to join this national #ShineYourLight campaign, and we would like to invite you, our Irish community in Canada, to participate with us. In order to take part, you are encouraged to retweet the @dfatirl message on Twitter, add your own photo and/or other reflections, and include the hashtag #ShineYourLight. The @dfatirl Twitter account will post an image and message about the initiative on Saturday evening.

Travel Advice

As the situation progresses with COVID-19, our travel advice remains that if you are an Irish citizen in Canada on a short-term visa (including the IEC Working Holiday Visa) and are concerned about your situation, you should make arrangements to travel home now. Flight options continue to narrow, and while there are no remaining direct flight options, indirect flight options still exist between Canada and Ireland. Please see www.aircanada.com or www.aerlingus.com

for more information on these indirect flights.

We have heard from colleagues in other Missions that some of their citizens are having issues with their insurance cover. We recommend that if you are staying in Canada, that you check that your travel or private health insurance does cover COVID-19.

Social Media

If you are not doing so already, we encourage you to follow the Embassy’s Twitter (@irlembcanada) and the Embassy’s Instagram (@irelandincanada). Here you will find our latest travel advice and updates, and other important messages. Please note that we cannot respond to individual queries on social media, and so queries should be directed to ottawaembassy@dfa.ie

We continue to encourage all of you, our Irish community organisations and GAA clubs, to share our messaging on your social media platforms. Disseminating accurate and up to date information to the Irish community is a vital part of our work at this time.

Thank you for your continued support for our efforts, and for all that you do to help within your community.

Take care of yourselves and each other. Stay safe, and once again, a very happy Easter to you all.

Le gach dea ghuí,

Jim Kelly
Ambassador of Ireland