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President Higgins insists he’s ‘conscious and careful’ of Constitution in controversial comments

President Michael D Higgins says he is "very conscious" of the Constitutional constraints of his role when he is commenting on topical issues.

President Higgins was commenting after he made his most pointed political statements to date as he criticised the failure of EU leaders to break the link between sovereign and banking debt.

Arriving at an event held by the human rights organisation, Frontline Defenders, in Dublin City Hall, the President said he is operating within his constitutional role.

"Oh, I am very conscious of the Constitution and I take it very carefully. I suppose in addition to the text of the Constitution itself, you also have to bear in mind the oath I took upon taking office, which is 'Mo lan dhicheal a dheanamh ar son fonamh agus leasa Muintir na hEireann," he said.

"That is to use all of my abilities for the welfare of the people of Ireland. That is important," he added.

Online Editors