Dia Dhaoibh go léir a chairde. To all Waterfordians at home and abroad, I wish you, your family, and friends a very Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year. I hope this Christmas finds you well and looking forward to your Christmas Dinner with family and friends.
We must spare a thought and prayer too though, for those who find Christmas a difficult period. You may have lost a family member during the last 12 months, or further in the past and I offer you my prayers this Christmas.
To those who will spend Christmas in hospital I send you my best wishes for a speedy recovery. Homelessness is with us, too, unfortunately, and I hope that we can make huge strides forward on this issue in 2022 and provide accommodation for everyone.
Thanks to all our frontline workers, gardai and emergency services, along with our Council staff, who work tirelessly all year to keep everyone safe and I send a special Christmas greeting to you all this year.
Despite Covid and other challenges, Waterford continues to move forward with projects such as the North Quays, the Greenway, the development of Mount Congreve Gardens and walking trails throughout the county. New parking at Mahon Falls will increase access to the Comeragh Mountains for many.
Our arts and entertainment sector had a very hard year, but I look forward to a brighter 2022 when all our artists can get back to full-time work.
Regarding employment, Bausch & Lomb, Sanofi, West Pharma, Ball Corporation, TEVA and Cartamundi, alongside other local and international companies, continue to prosper and create much needed, high value jobs for our people. Long may they enjoy success.
In 2022, WIT will become the Technological University of the South East and the second Cath Lab at UHW will be completed, a vital addition to our health care provision in the South East. I hope that Waterford Airport will reopen to passengers soon creating a vital link between the Southeast, the UK and Europe. A recent Irish Times competition voted Waterford as the “The Best Place to Live in Ireland”, an accolade richly deserved.
I end my Christmas message by once again wishing you all a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas and extend my Best Wishes to you all for 2022.
Nollaig Shona agus Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh go léir.