Opening door Jan van Zanen van het St. Patrick’s Day Festival, Grote Markt, 17 maart 2023


Minister (Ossian) Smyth,

Ambassador (Brendan) Rogers,

All Irish and ‘Irish for the Day’,


What an honour it is for me to join Minister Smyth in opening the Saint Patrick’s Day festival here on the Grote Markt.

Ireland’s national festival.

A national festival that is also celebrated in America, Canada, Australia and in many other places in the world. Because the Irish are everywhere.


The Hague is hosting this lively Irish festival for the eleventh time.

The Grote Markt is glowing green, and we have Irish food, drink and music.

A festival for all the Irish and for anyone who wants to feel Irish for the day.

A festival that fits perfectly in The Hague.

A city where the world feels at home, a city that feels at home in the world.


I am delighted to see so many happy people celebrating a national festival in freedom and peace, despite boundaries and differences.

I wish you all a wonderful evening and look forward to seeing you again at our King’s Day and Liberation Day celebrations.

Bye for now.