The rousing speech by Irish President Michael D Higgins at the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week represented a dazzling intellectual sweep of EU history which so impressed the chamber that the entire body of MEPs took to their feet in sustained applause.
The 12 Irish MEPs were visibly thrilled and even European Parliament President Martin Schulz could only mumble “wunderbar, wunderbar” after Michael D’s 30-minute oration which ranged from the birth of 6th century Irish scholar St Columbanus through to the modern-day blight of “unaccountable” rating agencies.
The word “intellectual” featured about ten times in the speech, but there was no doubting the message in this cri-de-coeur from our poet of the people, delivered as part of Ireland’s six-month EU presidency. “Europe needs a soul,” said Michael D, one of several quotes he drew from French statesman and former European Commission President Jacques Delors. Read more
Michael D Higgins the President elect of Ireland
Michael D Higgins, is the new President elect of Ireland.
The 2011 Irish Presidential election was one that had not been experienced before in terms of the number of candidates, the diversity of the CV’s of the candidates, the way the campaign was conducted and the general mud slinging that was fired from every direction and stuck on so many of the candidates that it was thrown at.
In no particular order David Norris, Mary Davis, Martin McGuinness and Sean Gallagher all suffered in one way or another. Dana even suggested that her campaign car may have been the victim of sabotage.
Emails were circulated of Michael D with a photo of the other candidates, with Higgins depicted as a diminutive leprechaun, comparatively, which in one way summed up the depths that anti Higgins campaigners had to stoop, to get at him. And despite talk of a dodgy knee, it was the former sociology lecturer at NUI Galway, who was the last man standing.
One of the best headlines in one of the papers, this morning after the results was – “Michael D-Day”.
Compared to the national story, it was Sean Gallagher who topped the poll in Donegal south west, while Martin McGuiness topped the poll in Donegal north east and came second in Donegal south west. Michael D topped the poll in Sligo North Leitrim.
Michael D Higgins TD
Michael D Higgins TD, Labour Party President and Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, today condemned the execution last Friday of 8 foreign and 2 Afghan aid workers from the aid group International Assistance Mission in Badakshan province of Afghanistan.
He said, “The execution for proselytising by the Taliban of such selfless aid workers who were bringing eye care and medical attention to communities in remote villages of Afghanistan is abhorrent and must be condemned in no uncertain terms. Read more