PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins paid tribute to those who died and those who are still grieving following the loss of loved ones during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The President of Ireland’s poignant remarks came as part of a special video message filmed from Áras an Uachtaráin to mark the conclusion of 2020.
Higgins was joined by his wife Sabrina for the special address, which featured a sombre New Year’s Eve performance of “The Parting Glass” by 23-year-old folk singer Dan McCabe from Naas, Co Kildare.
He said: “As we emerge from the year of Covid it is appropriate that we remember all those who have departed from us during the year, and those they have left behind and who did not have the opportunity of grieving for them in the way that is so traditional, and so central to Irish life.”
“As a gesture to them both, and on behalf of all of us, Sabina and I are so pleased to have Dan McCabe perform The Parting Glass as we leave this tough year behind,” Higgins continued.
“May we wish you all a year of health and fulfilment in 2021, beir Beannacht d’on bhliain nua.”
McCabe’s emotional rendition of the song made famous by The High Kings provided a haunting footnote from a difficult year.
For President Higgins it was the perfect tribute to those lost and to “remember the year that was, and to bring 2020 to a close, with a thought for them all”.
It came as part of the President’s ‘Samhlaíocht agus An Náisiún / Imagination and the Nation’ initiative, set up to showcase the transformative role art and creativity can play in Irish society.