Saturday 21 October 2017

It's the Chuckle Brothers: Part Deux

President Michael D Higgins (left) shares a joke with Ian Paisley, former First Minister of Northern Ireland, during a reception at Belfast City Hall to mark St Columbanus Day. Paul Faith/PA Wire
President Michael D Higgins (left) shares a joke with Ian Paisley, former First Minister of Northern Ireland, during a reception at Belfast City Hall to mark St Columbanus Day. Paul Faith/PA Wire

Michael McHugh

THE term Chuckle Brothers was originally applied to Martin McGuinness and former DUP leader Ian Paisley, but yesterday President Michael D Higgins seemed to have no difficulty in finding the old fire-brand's funny bone.

Mr Higgins was attending a reception at Belfast City Hall to mark St Columbanus Day. Lord Bannside, as Dr Paisley is now formally known, appeared to have had a warm meeting.

In his address on the North's troubled past, Mr Higgins said the memories of victims must be valued through fitting memorials and measures to bring the communities together.

Referring to the peace efforts of former US diplomat Dr Richard Haass, Mr Higgins said: "Whatever mechanisms are ultimately agreed upon for this task, the overall needs of a flourishing and shared society must be at their heart and the memory of victims must appropriately be reflected and cherished in thoughtful memorials and initiatives that bring communities together, so that we all learn from the terrible failures of the past."

Irish Independent

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