Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
In commemoration of the annual St. Patrick’s Day, the Republic of Ireland, at the weekend, bathed the Abuja City Gate in green light.
In a statement titled ‘Abuja’s Iconic City Gate Goes Green to Celebrate Ireland-Nigeria Ties,’ made available to Daily Sun in Abuja by the Embassy of Ireland, the Irish embassy said Abuja’s City Gate has been bathed in green light to celebrate ties between Ireland and Nigeria as part of celebrations to mark Ireland’s national day, St. Patrick’s Day.
St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is also the patron of Nigeria (since 1961, the year the Irish Embassy opened in Lagos). St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated around the world on March 17th every year.
The Embassy said a unique part of the occasion is the symbolic ‘greening’ of iconic global landmarks, adding that in previous years, famous sites such as the Great Wall of China, Niagara Falls, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Table Mountain, have all been lit in green lights to mark the day.
The Irish Embassy also said it partnered with Guinness Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory Administration to make Abuja the first location in West Africa to participate in the Global Greening.
Speaking at the switching on of the lights, Ireland’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Sean Hoy said: “This is a great way to highlight the warm friendship between Ireland and Nigeria. I hope this positive, welcoming image of Abuja will be seen around the globe.”
In his remarks, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Peter Ndegwa, said: “It is great to be part of this historic event, the first in West Africa. We are proud of the long and rich history that our iconic Guinness brand has had in Nigeria and we look forward to more partnerships and celebrations in the future.”
The Irish Embassy added that as part of St. Patrick’s Day festivities, a traditional Irish band will perform in Lagos and Abuja in a showcase of Irish culture.
“Trade links between the two countries are growing and over 40,000 people of Nigerian descent live in Ireland,” the Irish Embassy said.