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Michael D Higgins pays tribute to Irish nurses on International Nurses' Day

By Sarah Finnan

May 12, 2020 at 2:45pm

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Michael D Higgins has paid tribute to the country's nurses on International Nurses' Day.

Today marks International Nurses' Day, an international day celebrated around the world on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth. Originally celebrated in honour of her birthday, the day doubles as a way to mark honour the contributions that nurses make to society - an especially important thing to do given the current circumstances. Joining people around the world in praising our nurses for their work and dedication, Michael D Higgins has offered up a heartfelt message of thanks.

A statement shared online reads:

“Today, on International Nurses’ Day, all over the world we are celebrating the irreplaceable contribution that nurses make to the world’s health and wellbeing, and as we commemorate the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing whose 200th birth anniversary occurs this year, it is a great pleasure and a privilege to have the opportunity to recognise the contribution that the 67,000 nurses and midwives in Ireland have made to our society."

He continued on to talk about this year's theme, A Voice to Lead - Nursing the World to Health, commending nurses for their "strength of character" and compassion:

"We have all gained hard-won wisdom with regard to the value of frontline workers, such as nurses, and those providing essential services across the economy. It would be so regrettable, egregious even, if, through some form of collective amnesia, we as a society were ever to disregard or forget your heroic efforts, and revert to where we were before the pandemic – a society that sometimes failed to value you fully."

He finished his message encouraging others to follow suit and "honour the contribution of the nursing profession, and the women and men who continue to risk their lives and their security to support us".

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