We often mark the national days of our European Union colleagues. Like St. Patrick's Day, the Portuguese national day is a moment to remember one the country's heroes, the great poet, Luís de Camões, the anniversary of whose death is in 1580. That is the anniversary remembered by the Portuguese people. Luís de Camões was the author of the epic poem "The Lusiads", which highlights the voyage of discovery of the seafaring nation between the 15th and 16th centuries. Portugal's national day unites all the Portuguese people, especially the diaspora on every continent, when they come together to celebrate their culture and history.
From our geographical position on the edge of Europe, Ireland and Portugal, as two old nations, share a special relationship with the Atlantic Ocean and the wider world.
Portugal has the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. At European Union level, and indeed in the wider world, we have warm and friendly relations. I extend my best wishes to the Portuguese people here in Ireland and around the world, as well as to the Portuguese ambassador, Miguel de Almeida e Sousa, on their national day. Bon dia Camões.