United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough



British Ambassador Addresses St Patrick’s Day Service

St Patrick is a symbol of British and Irish relations, the British Ambassador, Mr Dominick Chilcott, said at the Patronal Eucharist of St Patrick’s Cathedral on St Patrick’s Day. The Ambassador delivered the address at the service and said relations between the two countries were “better than ever” although the sensitive history could not be ignored.

St Patrick's Day
St Patrick's Day

The large congregation was welcomed to the cathedral yesterday morning by the Dean, the Very Revd Victor Stacey, who also welcomed the Ambassador, the Friendly Brothers of St Patrick and visitors from around the world. The service was sung by the Cathedral Choir.

Noting that he was standing where Dean Swift had once stood, Mr Chilcott quoted Queen Elizabeth who spoke on the goal of modern British Irish relations during President Micheal D Higgins’ State visit last year: “It is that we who inhabit these islands should live together as neighbours and friends. Respectful of each other’s nationhood, sovereignty and traditions. Co–operating to our mutual benefit. At ease in each other’s company. After so much chequered history, the avoidable and regrettable pain of which is still felt by many of us, this goal is now within reach.” He added that there was a high level of respect and considerable trust between the two governments.

The Ambassador suggested that St Patrick was symbolic of the relationship between Britain and Ireland. Acknowledging that historical sources were not what they might be, he said it seemed that Patrick was from Wales and came to Ireland, first as a slave and later to bring the word of God. Like Patrick, people have travelled back and forth between these islands since before recorded history, he said. But modern transport and technology made that travel much easier.

No other patron saint enjoyed such broad appeal as St Patrick, Mr Chilcott said adding that many involved in building brands stood in awe of Ireland’s success with the St Patrick’s brand which resulted in the greening of many buildings worldwide, including the British Embassy in Ballsbridge. He concluded that both St Patrick and Dean Swift would be greatly pleased by relations between Britain and Ireland today.

Photo caption: The British Ambassador to Ireland, Mr Dominick Chilcott and his wife, Jane, with Dean Victor Stacey in St Patrick’s Cathedral.

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