President Michael D. Higgins
UACHTARÁN NA h-ÉIREANN – PRESIDENT OF IRELAND MICHAEL D. HIGGINS
President Michael D. Higgins is the ninth President of Ireland and took office on 11th November 2011 for a seven year term.
In his inaugural address President Higgins highlighted his commitment to the Irish diaspora saying:
“It is my wish to be a President for all of the Irish at home and abroad. We Irish have been a diasporic people for a great part of our history. The circumstances that have impelled – and that continue to impel – many citizens to seek employment and a better life elsewhere, are not ordained by some mysterious hand of fate. They challenge our capacity to create a sustainable and prosperous economy and an inspiring model of the good society.
We, in our time, must address the real circumstances that generate involuntary emigration, and resolve that in the years ahead we will strive with all our energy and intellect, with mind and heart to create an Ireland which our young people do not feel they have to leave and to which our emigrants, or their children, may wish, in time, to return to work and live in dignity and prosperity. I invite all of the Irish, wherever they may be across the world, to become involved with us in that task of remaking our economy and society.”
Since his inauguration the President has met with members of the Irish community in the United Kingdom, the United States, throughout Europe and in South and Central America. Each year the President also presents the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad.
In his first year as President, with his initiative, Being Young and Irish, he engaged directly with Ireland's young people asking them for their ideas on how to resolve Ireland's social, political, economic and cultural issues. This year, through The President of Ireland's Ethics Initiative, the President is asking the public what values should guide modern society and help us to live ethically together.
The President is a political scientist and sociologist by profession and spent many years as a lecturer in political science and sociology at the National University of Ireland, Galway and in the United States. He has previously served at every elected level of public life in Ireland, including as Ireland's first Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht. President Higgins is a fluent Irish speaker.
President Higgins has campaigned for human rights worldwide and in 1992 was the first recipient of the Seán MacBride Peace Prize from the International Peace Bureau in Helsinki. He is a writer and poet and has published two collections of essays and four collections of poetry. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy.
For further information visit www.president.ie