Irish lower house speaker vows to promote dialogue with China

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DUBLIN, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) — Sean O’Fearghail, speaker of the lower house of the Irish parliament, has said that he will continue to promote dialogue between Ireland and China for the benefit of the two peoples.

He made the remarks in a pre-recorded video message displayed at a Sunday night online gala held by the Confucius Institute of University College Dublin (UCD) to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

In the message, O’Fearghail, who extended his warm New Year wishes to all the friends watching the performance, spoke highly of the important contributions made by the Chinese community in Ireland.

“Many Chinese people, more than 60,000 people, have made a life for themselves here in Ireland — some temporarily, some more long-term, and this is a special day for them, their families and friends. To them I say, you have made an enormous contribution to Irish society over many years in business, culture, education and technology, among other areas, and this occasion is a suitable opportunity to acknowledge and salute that important contribution to the Irish nation and to our Irish people,” he said.

“In the current health crisis, I pay particular tribute to those Chinese men and women, and those of Chinese ancestry and heritage, who have worked so tirelessly in the healthcare sector. We look forward to safer days ahead,” he added.

The speaker also said he “had the great pleasure of visiting China in 2018 and saw at first hand the work ethic, innovation and skills which have powered China’s strong economic performance.”

“Ireland and China have nurtured and developed links over many years and I assure you that I will continue to promote sensible, practical and respectful dialogue between our two nations for the benefit of all our peoples,” he said.

In the message, O’Fearghail also thanked UCD Confucius Institute for organizing the annual celebration of the Chinese New Year which he believed “will be another memorable showcasing of Chinese culture in Ireland.”

“We have much in common, not least our desire to celebrate important events with family and friends, and as we welcome the Year of the Ox, I wish each of you health, happiness and good fortune for the year ahead,” he concluded.

Named Spring Festival Gala Ireland 2021, Sunday night’s celebration is an annual event organized by UCD Confucius Institute since 2008 with one missing in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 20 video performances recorded by Chinese and Irish students of the UCD Confucius Institute were displayed to local audience through a social platform of the organizer. Enditem

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