President Michael D Higgins has issued his annual Christmas message, at the end of what he described as a "challenging" year for the country.
President Higgins said the successful COVID vaccine programme has helped give people a "renewed hope and possibility" this year.
He said: "Throughout this past year we have again been called on to change and adapt our lives as we continue to battle with the great global challenge that is the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Your response has been one that showed courage, resilience, patience and a deep commitment to others.
"I am, however, profoundly aware of the many people who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 during 2021, and may I extend to you my deepest sympathies at this difficult time, when we remember them all."
He said the Irish people have risen to the challenge of the pandemic with "commitment and generosity, making the sacrifices necessary to protect your loved ones and your fellow citizens".
He added that it was heart-warming to see the expressions of "solidarity, kindness, compassion and care for others".
Elsewhere in the message, President Higgins said the world has now reached a "critical juncture" in the battle against climate change.
He said: "This is a challenge where we will once again be required to play a selfless part, as we work to make the lifestyle changes necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"As global citizens, we must seek to define and engage in new models of living, remembering that the significant decisions which are being taken at conference tables around the world must now be translated into altered behaviours in our daily lives if we are to protect our planet, and ensure it remains hospitable to current and future generations.
"Our new models of living, we must not forget, are much more than protection. They offer a better life in so many ways. They invite us to better more sustainable, flourishing, equal lives together, on a shared planet."
Signing off the message, President Higgins said: "May I wish you a safe and Happy Christmas, and a New Year of hope, promise and fulfilment."
You can watch the Irish language version of the Christmas message below: