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Tag Archives: Uachtarán na hÉireann

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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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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