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Friday 22 August 2014

President Higgins reveals training as a silver service waiter

Louise Kelly

Published 07/04/2014 | 17:57

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07/04/14 President Michael D Higgins and his wife, Sabina walk to board the government jet at Casement Aerodrome this evening on their way to the President's State Visit to the United Kingdom.. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
President Michael D Higgins and his wife, Sabina walk to the government jet at Casement Aerodrome this evening Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

President Michael D. Higgins may be waited on with silver service at Windsor Castle, but he will be keeping an eye out for any slipping standards.

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In a pre-recorded interview with Matt Cooper aired on The Last Word, Ireland’s president shared his youth experiences in England, which include several summers as a waiter.

“I was a bar man and a properly trained waiter, you know,” he said, joking that the Queen’s staff will be closely watched for any mistakes.

“I worked every year as a student – I first went over on the boat in 1962 – and I initially headed for Brighton as I had a bus company contact.”

“But then I went to Afriston where I spent every summer – and trained as a waiter.”

In the interview - done before he left Ireland this evening - the President said his host’s co-operation has already been “enthusiastic”.

“This visit is heavily formal in so far as there are particular topics that we will be dealing with [but] I don’t feel overwhelmed by any sense of caution,” he said.

“I know the ground and I’m not interested in seeking controversy.”

However, the President did comment on so-called ‘Brit bashers’ who have voiced their concern on this official state visit to Britain.

“The idea that there are divisions has not to be exaggerated,” he said.

“However, Britain is very important for the indigenous Irish industry. There are maybe 200,000 on both sides of the Irish sea that are the result of a successful economic relationship.”

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