"I'm issuing a Christmas message next week and I'll be pointing to the resilience of the Irish people," he said.
"My message has been that on this particular Christmas it's more important than ever that those who are in circumstances of having a joyful Christmas, bear in mind so many others who are having a difficult time."
Tourists knock grumpy London
The smiling face London presented for the Olympics and the queen's diamond jubilee celebrations appears to have been met with frowns by foreign tourists, says a survey.
Of 40 cities worldwide, only Moscow was placed lower than London for the friendliness of the locals this year, the poll by TripAdvisor showed.
Iraqi gran (83) becomes Irish
courageous grandmother Kallada Abdul has officially become an Irish woman at the impressive age of 83.
Originally from Iraq, she came here to join her son, Dr Mudafar Altawash, in Ireland about six years ago, when life became too difficult for her in the war-torn country.
Yesterday, the pensioner was one of 3,500 former immigrants who took an oath of allegiance to Ireland.
A spokesperson for the Department of Justice said she was certainly "one of the oldest" people to become a new citizen.
Deeper voices win female vote
EVEN women prefer leaders in typically female roles to have a deep voice like former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, research has shown.
Scientists in the US held simulated elections for two feminine leadership roles, president of a parent-teachers' organisation and membership of a school board.
Both men and women preferred female candidates with lower, more masculine voices, the study found.