Guím síochán na Nollaig agus dóchas na hathbhliana ar mhuintir Chill Chainnigh uile, sa bhaile agus i gcéin.
Ta súil agam go mbeidh am shuaimhneach agaibh ar fad le ham le chaitheamh le clann, cáirde agus comharsain agus go gcuimhneoimís ar fad ar a chéile ag an am speisialta seo den bhliain.
I would like to wish a very happy Christmas to you all as citizens of Kilkenny at home and abroad, and offer my sincere wish for a hopeful and healthy 2013.
We all look back at a wonderful sporting year and hope for more of the same in the coming year. We also, however, look back on a challenging year for many of our citizens. We miss those in our families who have passed away and those who have chosen or feel forced to have moved abroad.
We also have a responsibility, however, to spread a message of hope. Those of us who are old enough know that we have survived hard times in the past as a community and a country.
It is very important that we as local leaders and all of us who can lead in our own way let the younger amongst us know that we will get through a difficult time and that there is hope for the future. This surely is the message of the infant Jesus, whose birth we celebrate this Christmas.
I’d like to ask you to do the remainder of your Christmas shopping here in Kilkenny City or in your local towns in the county. Supporting our local traders means jobs for our neighbours and buying locally produced crafts, food and other items makes our gifts even more special.
I thank you also for your generosity to local charities and of course to the hundreds of volunteers who are working with the less fortunate in our community.
Finally, I finish with the wonderful poetic words of Máire Mhac an tSaoi from her poem ‘Oíche Nollaig’:
Le coinnle na n-aingeal tá an spéir amuigh breactha,
Tá fiacail an tseaca sa ghaoith ón gnoc,
Adaigh an tine is téir chun na leapan,
Luífidh Mac Dé ins an tigh seo anocht
(The sky outside is dotted with angels’ candles,
The frost’s tooth is on the wind from the hill,
Light the fire and go to your bed,
The Son of God will lie in this house tonight).