The announcement was made by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop during a visit to the British Irish Chamber of Commerce in Dublin, during which Ms Hyslop addressed delegates on the importance of the two countries’ membership of the EU, which facilitates trade to take place between the two nations and gives Scots firms access to the fastest growing economy in Europe.
Ms Hyslop told delegates that Scotland and Ireland greatly valued their relationship, adding: “Turning one of Scotland’s most iconic buildings green for St Patrick’s Day is a fitting way to show the importance we place on our relationship with Ireland, and a celebration of the friendship which exists between our two nations.
“Our economic links with Ireland, our work together in the European Union, and the shared value we place on our membership of that union, show how much we have to gain from strengthening our relationship.”
Irish investment makes a significant contribution to the Scottish economy, with Irish-owned firms based in Scotland responsible for nearly 6,000 jobs and a turnover of £2.4 billion, Ms Hyslop said, adding that Scottish exports to Ireland are worth £815 million a year.
Edinburgh Castle will join a number of iconic landmarks around the world turning green for St Patrick’s Day, including the Colosseum in Rome, the Sacre-Coeur Basilica in Paris, the Sydney Opera House and the Chicago River.
Charlie Flanagan, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, welcomed the announcement.
He said: “I very much appreciate this generous gesture from the Scottish Government.
“The addition of such a landmark to the already impressive list of iconic locations going green on St Patrick’s Day is another important moment in the friendship between Ireland and Scotland and literally highlights our ever-strengthening links.
“The theme for my recent visit to Edinburgh was embarking on a ‘new chapter’ in Irish-Scottish relations. Today’s announcement is a really significant and visible way to underline that.”
In the past, sheep in Bathgate have been dyed green to mark the feast day while the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow was bathed in green last year.
And in Edinburgh, the Camera Obscura and the Hub have in the past gone green for St Patrick’s Day.
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