Saturday 24 March 2018

The protocol: how Defence Forces delivered the notice

Paul Melia

THE process of becoming the ninth President of Ireland began shortly after 7pm on Saturday night when the Defence Forces called to Michael D Higgins's Dublin home.

The military were charged with delivering the formal notification that he was now president-elect, with Director of Administration Colonel Joe Dowling performing the honours and presenting him with his scroll of office.

Across the city, officer couriers were delivering the results to President Mary McAleese, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Chief Justice Susan Denham, Dail Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett, Cathaoirleach of the Seanad Paddy Burke and Secretary to the President, Adrian O'Neill.

The official results will be held by the Defence Forces until tomorrow, when they will be delivered to the presidential and referendum reporting officer in the Department of the Environment.

Mr Higgins will have a new chair for the inauguration ceremony at Dublin Castle on November 11, fashioned from Irish white oak and designed by John Lee.

The most prominent feature of the chair is free-flowing sweeping arms which dynamically link the entire piece. Inspired by the Irish saying "Cead Mile Failte" (a hundred thousand welcomes) the outstretched and welcoming arms on the chair reflect the ambassadorial role of the President.

Mr Higgins will be brought to St Patrick's Hall in a 1974 Rolls Royce, escorted by motorcycle outriders drawn from the Defence Forces' Second Cavalry Squadron.

He will take his oath, administered by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, as the ninth President of Ireland.

After delivering his inauguration address, he will be escorted to Aras an Uachtarain.

Mrs McAleese will remain in Aras an Uachtarain until the night before.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News