Speaking ahead of this weekend’s celebrations in Hungary, Ambassador Pat Kelly said: “St Patrick’s Day provides a unique opportunity for us to celebrate our culture, history and values. Here in Hungary we will mark the occasion with events in Győr and in Budapest.”

Ireland’s economic recovery is now entering a more mature phase with GDP growth forecast at 3.5% for 2018 and 3.2% for 2019. The forecasts reflect growth in exports and in domestic demand. The recovery in the economy is most clearly evident in the labour market. Nine of every 10 jobs lost since the global financial crisis of 2007-8 have been recovered. Strong employment gains have helped reduce unemployment, which has fallen from a peak of 16 per cent in early-2012 to 6% in February. This is below the EU (7.3%) and eurozone (8.7%) averages.

Ireland is a committed EU Member State and has benefitted enormously from EU membership, Ambassador Kelly said. Its future prosperity and well-being lies with continued membership of the EU. Joining the EU in 1973 had opened up Ireland and initiated a process of social and economic reform that continues today. The success of Ireland’s economy today could be linked to the critical investment in infrastructure that EU structural funds enabled Dublin to make.

As Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar stated in his address to the European Parliament on January 17, 2018: The promise of Europe unlocked the potential of Ireland. It allowed us to take our place among the nations of the world.”

Ireland faces a number of challenges ahead particularly in regard to Brexit. Its priorities are clear: the economy, Northern Ireland and the peace process, the Common Travel Area and the future of the EU. Like Hungary, Ireland very much favours the closest possible future trading relationship between the UK and EU. This is vital for Ireland’s economic prosperity, given that Ireland-UK trade currently amounts to some EUR 65 billion per annum.

St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Budapest

The 8th St Patrick’s Day parade will take place on Sunday March 18 and is a free, family-friendly event. People are invited to gather on Szabadság tér from 1.30pm and the parade will depart at 3pm, taking a route along Andrassy and finishing at Akácfa utca. The after party takes place in Instant/Fogasház with 20 different acts performing on five stages with a children’s room for the younger guests.

The parade is organised by the Irish Hungarian Business Circle, with support and sponsorship from the Embassy and from Irish business in Hungary.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/StPatricksDayBudapest/

St Patrick’s Day Celebrations in Győr

Since 2010, on the initiative of the Bishop of Győr’s Treasury and Library, the city organises an Irish festival that attracts not only Hungarian but Irish tourists to the city. Győr has a proud link with Ireland through the “Weeping Madonna”, a religious painting on display in the Basilica. This year’s festival’s programme includes a concert and dance workshop on March 17 with Greenfields, a Hungarian band with an Irish twist. There will also be a screening of “Brooklyn”, an Irish film from 2015, in the House of Generation.

Global Greening

The Global Greening campaign, which sees a host of major landmarks around the world turn green for St Patrick’s Day, has grown from strength to strength and Budapest will feature again in 2018 with MÜPA and the iconic Chain Bridge lit up in green to celebrate Ireland and St Patrick’s Day. Ambassador Kelly welcomes this year’s Greening: “The Greening of the Lanchíd provides the perfect backdrop to our St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Budapest and is a wonderful symbol of the strong friendship shared between Ireland and Hungary.”

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