Importance of family – Senator

Fine Gael Senator Joe O’Reilly has used his Christmas message to express his heartfelt sympathy to all those who lost loved ones through the COVID-19 pandemic or indeed otherwise since last Christmas.

“As a nation we can be so proud of how we dealt with Covid, protected livelihoods and culminated with one of the most successful vaccination programmes in the world,” he said.

The local Oireachtas representative says Christmas is a time when people think of “kith and kin” worldwide.

“We have missed out on direct contact over the last two years. Let’s not forget that most of our emigrants were economic migrants. It is a great time now to get in touch and, where possible, visit them or have them visit.

“We have learned during Covid the importance of family and quality of life. We should resolve to take time off and spend quality time with family friends and neighbours this Christmas.”

When in lockdown, Sen O’Reilly says people were reminded most of all of the “necessity” and value of the local shop. “It is vital that this Christmas we support our local businesses as they try to return to normality. It is to them we turn when we want jobs for our children or support for good local causes.”

He reminds that Christmas is a religious festival and this “should remain” the focus.

“The religious rituals associated with it are very uplifting and spiritually enriching. It certainly adds to Christmas greatly to participate,” said Sen O’Reilly, also acknowledging others of all faiths and non.

“We are greatly enriched by our new diversity and multiculturalism and must always respect that,” he said.

Sen O’Reilly concluded: “Le focal scoir ba mháith liom beannachtaí na Nollag a ghuí oraibh. Tá súil agam go mbainfidh sibh taitneamh ón saoire I gcuideachta bhúr gclann bhúr gcairde agus bhúr gcomharsana.

“Go neirí go geal libh uilig.”

* For a detailed Christmas feature on Bailieborough Town, see this week's print edition of The Anglo-Celt.