Friday 6 December 2019

Higgins in call to build peace

Sarah MacDonald

PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins demanded a concerted effort to build "structures of peace and understanding" as he marked the 1,000th anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf.

Scandanavian and Irish representatives were present at the Church of St John the Baptist in the Dublin suburb to recall the conflict involving the Vikings and Irish.

The President warned that there were "growing divisions" around the world "based on ethnicities and distorted versions of faith". But he said one of Ireland's great resources was the "very powerful sense of ethics among young people".

Of his recent state visit to Britain, President Higgins said it was not just that the visit had gone "incredibly well" but there had been "an incredibly warm atmosphere" also. He recalled Queen Elizabeth's reference in her speech at the state banquet in Windsor Castle to Brian Boru.

An interfaith prayer service at the Church of St John the Baptist brought together members of local Christian churches; Danish Ambassador to Ireland Niels Pultz; Norwegian Ambassador Ronald Names; and Irish Defence Forces members.

President Higgins planted a native Irish yew tree in the grounds of the Anglican church.

Irish Independent

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