WATCH: President Higgins celebrates 'global Irish family' in St Patrick's Day message

He has called for Irish people to "forge new links" with descendants of past migrants

The President has highlighted the significance of Irish people abroad and our cultural heritage in his St Patrick's Day message.

Michael D Higgins also drew attention to the importance of communication and inclusivity.

President Higgins said tomorrow is a chance for the diaspora and those living here to come together.

He observed: "St Patrick’s Day is a time when we come together to celebrate not only our rich Irish heritage but also the expression of our contemporary and diverse culture as it is expressed in all its different ways.

"Our heritage and culture connect us to our wider global family, reminding us of the common history and identity we share despite the borders, oceans and miles that may separate us." 

President Higgins suggested that the story of St Patrick's migration "reflects a theme that remains an important part of our national experience" - highlighting that many Irish people have experienced 'involuntary and voluntary' migration.

He also called for Irish people to "forge new links" with descendants of past migrants.

He added: "On behalf of the people of Ireland, I extend a hand of friendship across the globe to all those who are Irish by birth, descent or association. Those who have welcomed and assisted the Irish, those interested in matters Irish.

"I know that, together, we can build on the best of Irishness, to create a better future for ourselves, our children and all those who live on our beautiful, shared, vulnerable planet."