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Tag Archives: michael d higgins

GALLERY: President visits Clare branch of Samaritans

PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina visited the local branch of the Samaritans on the Kilrush Road in Ennis last week, as it celebrated its 40th anniversary. The Samaritans provides confidential emotional support to people experiencing feelings of distress and despair, including feelings that may lead to suicide. The current local director Margaret McMahon said Gardai had been at the branch well in advance of the visit, and around the Tuesday of the week before the Presidential visit it had been confirmed he would be coming. On the day he presented certificates to two of the longest serving volunteers. “One of them, Teresa, is one of the founding members and has 40 years of service, while another one, Mary, has 39 years,” said Margaret. Speaking about the visit, she said that they had shown him their premises, while they found he was familiar with the charity. “We brought him in and showed him our visitors room, the operations …

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Michael D at 80: shaped by Clare

THIS Sunday is the 80th birthday of Uachtaráin na hÉireann, Michael D Higgins. Now well into the second term of his presidency, he has generally enjoyed very high levels of public approval. Michael D grew up in Ballycar, Newmarket-on-Fergus and went to the local school there before going on to St Flannan’s. This week his brother John, who still lives in Ballycar, said he couldn’t have envisaged the success he would enjoy in public life. “That’s true, that’s true. Politics is a funny game and a good game.” As a boy the future president was a voracious reader, he recalls. “He’d read a lot of books, whatever books were available in the library at the time.” In 1993 Michael D became the country’s first ever Minister for Arts, and John says that helped bring him to greater prominence, although he had already been a TD for several years. “Eventually Labour got into Government with Fine Gael and that was the …

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Tributes pour in as Edna O’Brien turns 90

Tuamgraney-born author Edna O’Brien celebrated her 90th birthday this week to huge plaudits from the global literary world. President Michael D Higgins described the novelist as one of the finest chroniclers of Irish life. Widely regarded as Ireland’s greatest living writer, Ms O’Brien marked her birthday with the delivery of the TS Eliot lecture on Eliot and James Joyce for The Abbey Theatre. The piece was recorded at the Irish Embassy in London and broadcast on Tuesday evening (December 15). Ms O’Brien’s debut novel The County Girls convulsed 1960s Ireland with its honest representation of female sexuality and small town communities. Despite the reaction, Ms O’Brien in an interview in 1970 with RTÉ expressed warm feelings fro the county. “I would not want to have come from anywhere else despite certain inconveniences which I haven’t omitted to remember,” she said. In more recent years, The Country Girls trilogy has taken its rightful place in the canon of 20th century Irish …

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President pays tribute to health workers on May Day

PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins has singled out health care and all frontline workers for their dedication during the Coronavirus crisis in his May Day address. He also paid tribute to those who have died and the bereaved families. “Today, May Day, we honour and commemorate the important role of the organised labour movements across the globe. We recall to memory, and celebrate, the lives of workers who have marched, fought, and stood in solidarity with their colleagues, their fellow citizens, and with people all over the world, in struggles against injustice, inequality and exclusion. “Today’s SIPTU MayFest is different, by necessity, but recognising the role of workers and their unions is more important than ever. Both Sabina – who is patron of MayFest – and I take this opportunity to pay a particular tribute to all the frontline workers who have played their part for the greater good of all during the Covid-19 crisis. Today we remember those who have …

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President Higgins sends Christmas greetings

May I, as President of Ireland, mar Uachtarán na hÉireann, send you my warmest wishes for a peaceful and a Happy Christmas and New Year. Christmas is a time when we can pause for reflection, as we look back on the year gone by. It is a time when it is surely appropriate to recall the story that lies at the heart of this festive season. That story is of a long and difficult journey, and the birth of a child, in a temporary home, in Bethlehem two thousand years ago. Let us think too of how far from a state of peace that region is today, and how the absence of peace reflects our failure at a human and diplomatic level, and how, sadly, we hear words that provoke rather than heal. Across the many years and miles that separate us from the original Christmas story, we can unfortunately see too many parallels in our own society today. As …

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Book of Condolence opened for Las Vegas attack victims

Clare County Council has opened a Book of Condolence at Áras Contae an Chláir in Ennis in memory of the victims of Sunday night’s attack in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Councillor Tom McNamara, council chairman, and Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, have signed the book, which is available for members of the public to sign in the foyer of Áras Contae an Chláir, New Road, Ennis. On behalf of Clare County Council and the people of Clare, Councillor McNamara extended his deepest sympathies and condolences to the friends and families of the victims of this attack. “I wish the people of the United States of America strength as they seek to overcome such a brutal and indiscriminate attack.” “The appalling massacre of music lovers of different generations, at a public event in Las Vegas has shocked people all over the world,” he said. On behalf of the people of Ireland, President Michael D Higgins also expressed his …

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President launches children’s website

PRESIDENT Michael D. Higgins has launched a new website for children interested in learning more about their Head of State. The Children’s Section of www.president.ie is a new interactive website providing information about the role and work of Uachtarán na hÉireann, the President of Ireland, as well as the official residence of the President, Áras an Uachtaráin in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. Four animal guides (Daithí Deer, Fiachra Fox, Sorcha Squirrel and Blaithín Bird) provide young visitors with information about the work of the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and illustrate the history of the office of the president, the official residence and its surrounding gardens, as well as the Phoenix Park. The dedicated children’s website is available in Irish and English at: http://www.president.ie/en/childrens-section http://www.president.ie/ga/childrens-section

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Tributes to the late Martin McGuinness

The President Michael D Higgins has led tributes to the former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, who died early this morning. Mr McGuinness, a former IRA leader in Derry, emerged as a key Sinn Féin political figure in the North and played a significant role in the peace process and forging the Good Friday Agreement. “The world of politics and the people across this island will miss the leadership he gave, shown most clearly during the difficult times of the peace process, and his commitment to the values of genuine democracy that he demonstrated in the development of the institutions in Northern Ireland,” the President said. He added, “As President of Ireland, I wish to pay tribute to his immense contribution to the advancement of peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland – a contribution which has rightly been recognised across all shades of opinion. “Our paths have crossed many times in recent years at official events, including most …

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