Entertainment Banter

Tuesday 12 December 2017

BMXs, Slane and cheering on the Boys In Green - 7 times Michael D Higgins was a total legend

Michael D. Higgins at Slane castle in 1984 to see Bob Dylan.
Michael D. Higgins at Slane castle in 1984 to see Bob Dylan.

Daniel O'Connor

President Michael D Higgins warmed the country’s hearts once again yesterday as he announced an ice-cream giveaway in Dun Laoghaire.

However, our president is no stranger to making headlines for his charm and character.

From his moments of plain kindness to showing his more eccentric side, there have been plenty of moments in Higgins’ career that will make him one of the most fondly remembered presidents in the history of the State. Here are just seven.


He enjoys the odd bike ride


Nothing to see here:  just the President of Ireland chilling on a BMX bike.

The absurd nature of the photo saw it shared throughout the internet and go viral throughout the world.

Taken at the Sea Sessions festival in the midst of his presidential campaign, Michael D. was making it clear from the get-go what kind of message he would send as the President of Ireland.

It’s still a mystery whether or not he has pursued the sport since.


He loves to rock out at concerts

Michael D. Higgins at Slane castle in 1984 to see Bob Dylan.

All politicians need the time to let their hair down, and Higgins was no exception back in the day.

This photo was taken at Slane Castle 1984, in which Higgins was just one thousands gathered to see Bob Dylan headline the famous venue. He would be joined also by a young Bono and Carlos Santana during his performance.

Few people question his ability as a leader, but more might be critical of his fashion sense on this particular day...


He loves cheering on his country


There’s no denying that President Higgins is as Irish as they come, and there’s few things in life we as a country love more than cheering on the boys in green.

Unsurprisingly, our President is no different. He’s been seen on several occasions cheering on our national sportsmen, most notably when he was found jumping with glee after Robbie Brady put Ireland 1-0 up at last year’s European Championships.

Not enough to be left celebrating up in the stands, the President took it upon himself to congratulate the players in the dressing room afterwards.

He’s also passionate about supporting his local team as well, as proven last month when he was seen jubilant as Galway United scored a late winner against reigning champions Dundalk.

Michael D Higgins: number 1 President, number 1 fan.


He loves the Toy Show

Likewise, if there’s one thing Irish people love as much as watching the football, it’s watching the Toy Show.

We’ve no doubts that Higgins curls up on the couch one a year with Sabine and a bowl of popcorn to watch the children of Ireland showcase a bundle of toys, and we have the proof too.

One of the stars of last year’s show was Kathryn Fay, a young girl from Newry, Co. Down with a passion for reading and the history of Irish presidents.

President Higgins was impressed enough with Kathryn to send her a personal letter of thanks after the show.

Maybe he can team up with Tubs to present this December? Who wouldn’t tune in for that?


His comments on threesomes

This is far from the first thing you’d associate with the 76-year-old President of Ireland, but maybe Michael D. is less of an innocent character than we give him credit for!

Higgins was speaking at the Union of Students in Ireland Congress back in 2012 about student protests and housing, when the conversation veered into totally unexpected territory.

The comments were in relation to a student protest in which Higgins took part in over local landladies in Galway when he was a student.

“I remember the placards well…one said “Three In A Bed Is Too Many’. Probably we reached a stage where I was later in university where people said three in a bed is not enough.”

We’ll let you draw your own conclusions from that.


He called a American radio host “a w****r whipping up fear”

Much like some of your own kind grandparents, it’s almost impossible to imagine President Higgins becoming enraged enough to use such foul language but it has happened.

Before his time as President, when he served as the Labour Party spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, Higgins engaged in a ferocious debate with a right-wing radio host Michael Graham.

Speaking about young people from the United States travelling and the worldwide image of the country, Higgins made no apologies in telling Graham exactly how he felt.

“The image of the United States, now we’ve got away from this warmongering, is getting better,” Higgins said.

“The 47 million people that the likes you condemn to no healthcare, in a country that I was proud to work in.”

“Be proud to be a decent American, rather than just a w****r whipping up fear.”

President Higgins might be a nice guy, you’d rather not get on his bad side.



He queues for the ATM just like everybody else

President D Higgins at the ATM

Nothing special or out of the ordinary here: just the President of Ireland patiently waiting to get some cash out.

Few other countries in the world would see their Head of State casually wait in line to use the ATM in the way that Michael D. does.

It wasn’t just a once off incident either. There have been sightings of the President queuing at cash machines in Winthrop Street, Cork and Baggot Street, Dublin in recent times.

He’s truly a man of the people.

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