Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Seanad Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 2 Jun 2022

Vol. 286 No. 1

Gnó an tSeanaid - Business of Seanad

Before I call on the Leader to outline the Order of Business, I welcome the ambassador of Denmark to the Distinguished Visitors Gallery. Denmark's national day is Constitution Day. As an EU member state, Denmark has been a valued friend of Ireland, especially during the Brexit process. The Kingdom of Denmark celebrates Constitution Day, which marks its first constitution in 1849 and its current constitution in 1953.

The close bonds between Denmark and Ireland are well known and stretch all the way back to the Viking era, when the Danes were guests and tourists of sorts. We cherish some of the lasting Viking influences on Irish culture. The largest Viking warship, which is on display in the Danish national Viking Ship Museum, is called the Sea Stallion. It was built in 1042 and made from oak from County Wicklow. Of course, one of our iconic literary figures, James Joyce, began learning Danish at the age of 18 and he was convinced that he had Danish or Viking origins. Seamus Heaney also had strong links to Denmark. On the island of Bornholm there is a street named after him.

Ireland and Denmark joined the European Union together some 50 years ago. We continue to work together in that context, especially concerning the crisis in the Ukraine. We share values, including respect for the rule of law and democratic values. There is a small but vibrant Danish community in Ireland, with approximately 2,500 Danish citizens resident here. There is also a GAA club in Denmark.

We welcome the ambassador and we wish all the Danish community in Ireland and around the world a happy Constitution Day and continued long and fruitful relationships between our two countries. Glad forfatningsdag.