St Patrick’s Day

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at on 17 March 2011.

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Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

There is no legal or statutory definition of a public holiday in Scotland, but momentum is building around the importance of celebrating our national day, St Andrew’s day, throughout Scotland.

On Anne McLaughlin’s latter point, I congratulate Enda Kenny on his appointment as Taoiseach.

On solidarity with Ireland, it is important to reflect that the International Monetary Fund forecast in October showed that the Irish economy is expected to grow at a faster rate than the United Kingdom’s. Indeed, in 2009, the gross domestic product per capita in Ireland was 12 per cent higher than that in the UK. More important, the Irish people are close neighbours of ours, and as they come through their difficulties it is better to stand shoulder to shoulder with them in solidarity than to trade insults, which some members seek to do.