Thursday 23 November 2017

Higgins to be sworn in at state ceremony

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

MICHAEL D Higgins -- the ninth President of Ireland -- will be inaugurated at a state ceremony to be held in Dublin Castle on November 11.

Until that date, the president-elect will have no official duties.

However, he is expected to receive beefed-up security, including garda protection and a chauffeur-driven car, as he awaits his swearing-in.

The new president will take an oath swearing to uphold the Constitution and "dedicate (his) abilities to the service and welfare of the people of Ireland".

After he takes the oath, he will then sign a declaration and be presented with his presidential seal of office.

Among those attending the ceremony in St Patrick's Hall will be the Taoiseach, the Cabinet, members of both houses of the Oireachtas, senior members of the judiciary from the Supreme and High Courts and the diplomatic corps. Church leaders will also be invited to attend.

The event is subject to strict protocol. However, in recent inaugurations, new presidents have been able to add some personal touches.

At President Mary McAleese's inauguration in 1997, she invited 800 schoolchildren from around the country who welcomed her arrival in the yard of Dublin Castle.

A special piece of music was also commissioned from uileann piper Liam Og Floinn. 'An Droichead' ('The Bridge') reflected the central theme of her election campaign of building bridges with the North.

Mrs McAleese will leave Aras an Uachtarain -- her home for the last 14 years -- the day before the swearing in of her successor.

She will continue a full schedule of official engagements up until her final day in office, November 10, although details of her last engagement will not be released until the end of next week.

Mrs McAleese has revealed that after she steps down, she will return to studying law.

Irish Independent

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