On Friday 15 March 2024, Ireland's Ambassador to Luxembourg, Jean McDonald, hosted a lunchtime reception at the Cercle Cité in Luxembourg-Ville to celebrate St Patrick's Day.

Dozens of members of the Grand Duchy's dynamic Irish community, as well as other invited guests from Luxembourg (politicians, diplomats, etc.), donned their best green attire and gathered in the impressive first floor foyer of Cercle Cité to mark the upcoming national day of Ireland (St Patrick's Day, celebrated on 17 March).

In her speech, Ambassador Jean McDonald noted that this St Patrick's Day held special significance for her as it marked her first one celebrated here in Luxembourg. She expressed her gratitude for the "warm welcome" she has received since arriving in the Grand Duchy seven months ago. The Irish Ambassador humorously touched upon the less warm welcome Saint Patrick received in her hometown of Skerries back in the fifth century - the consequences of which hint at the importance of extending a warm welcome to others...

Ambassador McDonald thanked everyone who had contributed to the success of this traditional St Patrick's Day reception, including Home from Home, who provided a taste of Ireland, and the Comhaltas Luxembourg musicians, among others.

Her speech also reflected on "this difficult time in the world", addressing the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and in Gaza, as well as other global crises. She stressed the importance of "not just defending but actively promoting" common values (e.g. the rule of law and the defence of human rights) together with allies and described Luxembourg as a strong ally and friend of Ireland. She added that her move to Luxembourg had deepened her appreciation of the "special bilateral relationship" that these two countries share. The ambassador particularly highlighted ties in business and culture between the two countries, and paid tribute to the 2,500-strong Irish community in Luxembourg. She concluded that there was much to celebrate here in the Grand Duchy and wished everyone a happy St Patrick's Day.

The reception continued with drinks (soft drinks but also Guinness and champagne) and themed finger food (mini delights in the colours of the Irish flag, cocktail sausages, smoked salmon and various cheeses, among other Irish produce).