He may lack glamour but his power comes from passion
With hands clasped, twinkling eyes and a smile as wide as Galway Bay, President Michael D Higgins entered the London Irish Centre on Tuesday attempting to put his own unique stamp on the presidential office.
This, of course, was his first official overseas trip and despite spending decades in public office he must have felt a few butterflies as his car sped through the London traffic.
Over the years I've covered many presidential visits to London and recall the almost superstar status bestowed on Mary McAleese. When she walked into a room it lit up, everybody wanted their picture taken with her and she combined elegance and professionalism with remarkable ease.