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Tag Archives: President Michael D Higgins

President visits flood hit South Galway

President Michael D Higgins visited Labane in South Galway today (Monday) and met some the farm families and business people affected by severe flooding. “I took the opportunity of thanking all of the agencies and volunteers who have been assisting those affected and of paying tribute to the extraordinary sense of community that has prevailed for nearly a month now,” President Higgins said. Continuing, he said, “One particular aspect of the floods in Labane to highlight is the situation of those who are isolated and marooned and facing a painful wait for the waters to recede. It is only then that the task of recovery, in so far as possible, can begin.” The President expressed thanks to the Army who have been in Labane since December 9. “I had the opportunity as well of directly thanking the voluntary services, the State agencies and the local authorities, who are all working together with a great sense of cooperation. “While everybody was …

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Easter Rising message from President

In a special message to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising, President Michael D. Higgins evokes the events and people of 1916, whose beliefs and actions make it possible for us, as a nation, to remember and reflect on the full richness of our history and the diversity of people and events that are part of what we are today. President Higgins was particularly appreciative of the investment and commitment of the thousands of people, of all ages and backgrounds, who came forward with their wishes and suggestions, which form the basis of the 31 local community programmes which will take place nationwide in 2016. The President said the centenary offers all of us an opportunity to reflect on events of the past, so that we can build a future that honours the promise of equality and inclusiveness contained in the 1916 Proclamation. The Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, led by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, …

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Cutting through the red tape for companies

The new Companies Bill passed in the Houses of the Oireachtas last week will ease the burden of red tape for Clare business people and simplify many existing company law requirements, according to local TD, Joe Carey. The Bill, which is the largest substantive piece of legislation in the history of the State, has now been sent to the President for signing. “The passing of the new Companies Bill through the Oireachtas is great news for entrepreneurs and business owners in County Clare as it will significantly ease the burden of red tape on small business,” said Mr Carey. It is estimated that 200,000 SMEs and 12,000 start-ups every year will be able to substantially reduce the costs and time associated with establishing and running a company, as a result of this Bill. “The vast majority of companies in Ireland are private companies limited by shares and for that reason they will be placed at the centre of the legislation. …

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President to attend Kidney Association remembrance

President Michael D Higgins is to attend the Irish Kidney Association’s 29th Annual Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving at Galway Cathedral, on Saturday at 12.30pm to honour organ donors and their families. Following this event at a packed cathedral, the President will be the guest of honour at the Circle of Life national commemorative garden for organ donors in nearby Quincentennial Park, Salthill. Here songs, music, dance and poem recitals will be performed by people touched by organ donation. The Circle of Life, scheduled to begin at 2pm, is being organised by Martina and Denis Goggin, parents of organ donor, Éamonn and founders of the Strangeboat Donor Foundation. The inaugural Service in 1986 had an attendance of 300 people and since then the numbers have increased annually and, in recent years, over 2,000 people have attended from all over Ireland. The decision to hold the service in Galway is to provide those present, who attend the annual service, the opportunity …

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Back to Buckingham

NORTH Clare artist, Michael Hanrahan has been invited again to Buckingham Palace to deliver his painting, entitled The Horse-Drawn Carriage At Windsor. Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth gave Michael permission to paint various scenes from the historic visit of Irish President, Michael D Higgins to the United Kingdom last April. She also said she wished to see the work on completion. She has now written to the artist, accepting Michael’s gift of this painting. The painting depicts the Australian State carriage as it made its way to Windsor Castle, carrying the Queen and President Higgins. Michael will deliver the painting to Buckingham Palace at 12.30pm on Monday, October 6. This is the artist’s second visit to the palace, having presented a further painting, entitled The Queen at the Garden of Remembrance. This painting followed Queen Elizabeth’s historic visit to Ireland in 2011. Michael was the only artist accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs to capture this visit on canvas. The …

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Tributes to the late Albert Reynolds

President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Enda Kenny have led tributes to former taoiseach, Albert Reynolds, who died in the early hours of this Thursday morning. Mr Reynolds, who was 81, was first elected to the Dáil in 1977 for Fianna Fáil in the Longford-Westmeath constituency. He succeeded Mr Charlie Haughey as taoiseach and party leader in February 1992. Mr Reynolds served as taoiseach for two terms in a short period and in that time made a huge to the peace process in Northern Ireland. Mr Reynolds was a frequent visitor to Clare, and Shannon in particular, when he held the industry portfolio in cabinet. He also met a number of VIPs at Shannon Airport. President Higgins said, “I have learned with great  sadness of the death of former taoiseach and a member of the Council of State, Albert Reynolds. I wish to express my deepest sympathy to Kathleen  and the entire Reynolds family. Albert Reynolds will be remembered as …

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Clare’s shifting political landscape

FIVE years ago, Fianna Fáil was in meltdown and the grassroots membership in Clare in open revolt. Bedevilled by ongoing controversy and the country in financial crisis, such political embarrassment was always going to stimulate a ballot box backlash, and it did. The political turmoil presented a window of opportunity for Fine Gael to make political gains, and they did. For the first time since the formation of the state, Fine Gael became the controlling party in Clare County Council holding 12 of the 32 seats, one more then their long-standing rivals. Fianna Fáil paid a high price for the economic hardship they foisted on the nation through poor judgement calls and downright bad management. Their vote in Clare dropped to an all-time low of just 35.5%, down almost 15% from the 1999 elections. Conversely, Fine Gael’s stock rose. Their first preference vote jumped from 26.66% in 1999, when they held eight seats, to the 2009 level of 34.2%. Clare’s …

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Online initiative to grow Seed Savers

The East Clare based national charity, Irish Seed Savers, was dealt a financial blow in recent months arising from funding cuts, which led to redundancies at the facility. Last month it launched an online campaign at www.indiegogo.com to raise funds to help save the facility and secure its future. Although nowhere near the €100,000 it needs, funds are trickling in and to date, over €4,000 has been pledged. Irish Seed Savers Association was set up in 1991 to save Ireland’s heritage and heirloom vegetable seeds, potatoes, grains and fruit trees from extinction. Since then it has grown to a stage where it has over 800 varieties of organic, open pollinated heritage seeds in a purpose seed bank, which was opened in 2012 by President Michael D Higgins. Speaking at that time President Higgins said, “From little acorns, oak trees grow and from modest beginnings in 1991, the Irish Seed Savers Association has grown to such an extent that impressively it now …

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