The usual tradition on 17 March sees famous landmarks around the world go green in honour of Ireland’s national holiday. This year, however, Ireland is doing things a little differently.
This year, Irish landmarks have lit up in the Ukrainian colours for St Patrick’s Day. Thus, showing solidarity with those affected by the ongoing war.
In a move away from the usual tradition of going green, 41 landmarks around Ireland will light up blue and yellow on 17 March.
Among the landmarks involved is the Kilmainham Gaol Museum and Leinster House in Dublin.
Ireland’s ‘global greening’ – the day the world lights up green
The Office of Public Works (OPW) in Ireland unveiled the blue and yellow landmarks on Wednesday, 16 March, the eve of St Patrick’s Day.
Patrick O’Donovan, Minister for the OPW and Flood Relief, spoke on the decision to light up Irish landmarks in Ukrainian colours for St Patrick’s Day.
He said, “In Ireland and abroad, we take pride in the… displaying of the green on St Patrick’s Day.
“The colour is an intrinsic part of our pride in our roots and the joint celebration of Irishness on our national holiday.
“Over many years, the OPW has set the mood for this important day by symbolically ‘greening’ our most iconic heritage sites, government buildings, and national cultural institutions.”
This year is different – standing in solidarity with those affected by war
O’Donovan continued, “This year is different, however. We look forward to marking St Patrick’s Day with our friends and loved ones. Meanwhile, we think of the people of Ukraine whose lives, safety, and sovereignty are at risk.
”For them and for the eyes of the world, we send a message of solidarity.”
He continued, by ”illuminating 41 Irish landmarks across the country in the colours of Ukraine tonight and over the St Patrick’s Day weekend,” we ”underline that the people of Ireland stand with Ukraine.”
The symbolic move to sees Irish landmarks light up in Ukrainian colours for St Patrick’s Day. Thus, making clear Ireland’s stance on the war and showing solidarity to those who have been adversely affected.
Ireland’s national holiday – the day the world is Irish
It is not only in Ireland that St Patrick’s Day is celebrated. Normally, on 17 March, people around the world take to the streets to celebrate Ireland’s patron saint.
Global landmarks, such as the Sydney Opera House and the Empire State Building, would normally light up green to mark the occasion.
Last week, however, Tourism Ireland announced they would not be promoting its ‘Global Greening’ initiative. Rather, 17 March would be a day used to mark respect for the situation in Ukraine.
Standing up for human rights – making their stance clear
This decision can be seen clearly across Ireland today; 41 famous Irish landmarks light up in Ukrainian colours for St Patrick’s Day.
Landmarks all across Dublin and elsewhere in Ireland will turn blue and yellow throughout the weekend.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin spoke on the decision last week. He said, “As a result of the appalling situation and war in Ukraine, we have evolved our tone and theme of St Patrick’s Day next week.
“From an overt focus on Ireland, [we will focus on] the fact Ireland is an active, engaged, and fully committed member of the international community that stands by democracy, the rule of law, and human rights.
“We will use St Patrick’s Day… to highlight our solidarity with Ukraine… That is a key issue.”