Ronald Reagan picture

Message on the Observance of St. Patrick's Day, 1988

February 29, 1988

Nancy and I are proud and pleased to wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day, especially Irish Americans and all of Ireland's own, at home and around the globe.

On St. Patrick's Day I seek to remind America and the world of the debt we owe to the Irish people, who through the ages have created and perpetuated a unique heritage of faith and freedom, of humor and hope, of scholarship and sanctity and sacrifice.

With faith and fearlessness St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland a millennium and a half ago. The annals reveal the Irish people's eagerness to embrace the faith and to keep it; that trait remains to this day, a tribute to the Apostle of Ireland and to his flock in every generation.

St. Patrick's Day is a time to recall as well the many links between Ireland and America-perhaps, as some say, from the days of pre-Columbian Irish seafaring monks, but surely ever since the Irish people have known America as a land of liberty, justice, and opportunity.

As the ballad says, "And now to conclude and finish, as I have no more to say"—May America and Ireland always cherish each other and the kinship in which we hold St. Patrick's Day. And may God ever be our shield and our guide.


Ronald Reagan, Message on the Observance of St. Patrick's Day, 1988 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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