THE Irish Embassy building in London turned a striking shade of green in the early hours of this morning, marking the onset of St Patrick’s Day 2021.
Located in Belgravia, the building is one of 670 sites located in 66 countries that are taking part in Tourism Ireland’s annual Global Greening initiative – which has gone from strength to strength since it was launched in 2010.
Back then it was just the Sydney Opera House and the Sky Tower in Auckland that went green.
This year, which will be the biggest ever Global Greening, around 670 sites around the world are signed up to take part.
From Rome to Rio and from London to Las Vegas, a host of famous buildings and sites around the world will be turning a shade of green today.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This year marks the 12th year of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative and it’s the biggest ever, with some wonderful new additions like The Palm Fountain in Dubai – the largest fountain in the world.
"Other new sites include the village of Portmeirion in North Wales and Bled Castle in Slovenia. Each year, I am delighted to see so many iconic landmarks and sites wishing to get involved, to mark St Patrick’s Day."
He added: “This year, in particular, we aim to bring some positivity and hope to our Diaspora across the globe.
"More than 70 million people around the world claim links to the island of Ireland and St Patrick’s Day is a truly unique opportunity to reconnect them with their heritage.
"At a time when Irish people overseas cannot travel home, we want to shine a green light in as many locations around the world as possible, giving our Diaspora a sense of connection with home and reminding them that we cannot wait to roll out the green carpet and welcome them back, as soon as it is possible to do so.
"This year, against the ongoing backdrop of Covid-19, our St Patrick’s Day programme around the world is more important than ever before.
"During this challenging time, we want to mark St Patrick’s Day and to keep Ireland to the fore in a positive light, on the day when people everywhere are thinking about Ireland.”
Sixteen of this year's Global Greening sites are based in Britain – they are:
The London Eye
Nelson’s Column, London
Embassy of Ireland, London,
Leadenhall Market, London
Queen's House, London
Tower 42, London
Trafalgar Square fountains, London
Gwrych Castle, Abergele
Castell Coch, Cardiff
Civic Hall, Leeds,
Leeds City Museum, Leeds,
Town Hall, Leeds
Gateshead Millennium Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne,
City Hall, Norwich