The Presidential Garden Party celebrates citizenship and integration

Fri, July 14, 2017

Irish President Michael D. Higgins with Djamal Kenouche, his friends and Moawia Eldjack’s family.

A great example of integration: The President’s Garden Party for new citizens

“21st century Ireland is a dynamic and cosmopolitan place that embraces the innovation, opportunity and creative energy that cultural diversity brings.” President Michael D. Higgins

On the 3rd of July, members of Nasc staff and friends visited Áras an Uachtaráin for one of the President’s Garden Parties. Based on an annual tradition, this special event to welcome new Irish citizens promoted the new multicultural identity of Ireland. Proud to stand here as official guests, the new citizens were delighted to meet the President, the First Lady and they felt truly accepted and integrated into Irish society. More than a formal and political reception, this celebration received the 200 children and parents who enjoyed the entertainments offered.

“Whatever the road that has brought you here, you are part of an important group who have changed our country for the better, in remarkable ways, enriching our culture and our communities, and you have enhanced all our lives.”  President Michael D. Higgins

Sabina Higgins with Moawia Eldjack’s family.

In the current context of refugee crisis and when the EU is facing the largest global humanitarian crisis, this ceremony is a real and strong example of integration, honoring the courage of those fleeing conflicts. Indeed, the Garden Parties offer a political and social recognition to those who find in Ireland shelter, protection and the President invited them to “make sure [they] add [their] stories and experiences into ours.” By delivering a positive speech toward “the best of such heritages that we weave new patterns to create the multi-cultural dimension of modern Ireland”, he promoted the identity of “a new Ireland”.

Sarah Ben Smida