Address by H. E. Mrs. Martina Feeney, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ireland to the Republic of Bulgaria,

delivered at the virtual reception on the occasion of the national holiday of the country on March 17.

See the whole event HERE.

A chairde, cead mile failte romhaibh go leir anseo um thráthnóna le ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar ár náisiúnta.

Dear friends, I’m delighted to welcome you all here this evening to celebrate our national day.

My name is Martina Feeney and last October, I took up duty as the Irish Ambassador in Sofia. This is my first St. Patrick’s Day here in Bulgaria and I would like to extend warm greetings to the Irish communityand to friends of Ireland in Bulgaria.

We cannot yet come together in person but we can join in festivities on a day that is celebrated around the globe, a day when we can renew our bonds of friendship, a day when we can reflect on the success of our independence, now almost one hundred years old.

Ireland and Bulgaria may be two countries that are far apart geographically, but we share the same values and principles as members of the European family.

We believe that global challenges are best addressed through dialogue and cooperation. This past year the world has faced one of the greatest challenges in living memory. Many of us have lost loved ones and we have all had to live with the consequences of COVID.  

Thanks to huge international efforts, we now have vaccines that will enable our societies to emerge from the shadow of COVID. As begin to pick up the threads of normal life, I look forward to discovering Bulgaria, to getting to know this beautiful country and its people.  

Together with my Bulgarian colleague in Dublin, I also look forward to rescheduling many of the events we had planned last year to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries in July 1990.

Now, it is my privilege to introduce the Taoiseach, Michael Martin. [Taoiseach’s address]

Thank you very much Taoiseach.

St. Patrick’s Day is a time to celebrate the brilliance and diversity of contemporary Irish creative talent, at home and abroad. Next, we’re delighted to share with you some moments of artistic inspiration to lift us in these most challenging of times... [Cultural inserts]

Thank you to all our performers.  


Our celebrations don’t end this evening. For those you who will be in Sofia over the next two weeks, I would like to invite you to visit our Feast of Irish culture exhibition at the Lovers Bridge. I would like thank the City of Sofia for their kind cooperation.

I would also ask you to check out the programme of the Sofia Film Festival, which this year includes three Irish films, including "Wolfwalkers" the latest animated feature from Cartoon Saloon in Kilkenny, who brought us "Song of the Sea" and "The Secret of Kells".

And finally, wherever you find yourself, please visit our virtual Ireland House at

Let me end this evening with a special Irish blessing:

Go mbeirimid beo ag an am seo arís!

May we all be alive at this time next year!

The material was provided by the Embassy of Ireland in the Republic of Bulgaria. In the photo: H. E. Mrs. Martina Feeney, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ireland to the Republic of Bulgaria