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Sabina Higgins takes centre stage: a pacifist who found herself in the firing line

While more at home in theatre than politics, the former actor is passionate about human rights, say friends, and she will have been dismayed that her letter appealing for peace in Ukraine caused such controversy

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Appreciative audience: Sabina Higgins, with President Michael D Higgins, in an Irish Citizen Army uniform hat at Liberty Hall in 2016. Photo by Gerry Mooney

Appreciative audience: Sabina Higgins, with President Michael D Higgins, in an Irish Citizen Army uniform hat at Liberty Hall in 2016. Photo by Gerry Mooney

Sabina and Michael D Higgins on their wedding day in 1974

Sabina and Michael D Higgins on their wedding day in 1974

President Michael D Higgins and Sabina Higgins on a visit to the Holy See last year. Picture by Maxwells

President Michael D Higgins and Sabina Higgins on a visit to the Holy See last year. Picture by Maxwells

The wedding of Luke Kelly to Deirdre O'Connell at Whitehall Church in 1965 with bridesmaid Sabina Coyne

The wedding of Luke Kelly to Deirdre O'Connell at Whitehall Church in 1965 with bridesmaid Sabina Coyne

TV role: Sabina played nurse Julia Grennan in the 1966 RTÉ series Insurrection

TV role: Sabina played nurse Julia Grennan in the 1966 RTÉ series Insurrection

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Appreciative audience: Sabina Higgins, with President Michael D Higgins, in an Irish Citizen Army uniform hat at Liberty Hall in 2016. Photo by Gerry Mooney

For someone who worked as an actor for years and trained herself to handle all the pressures of being on stage, Sabina Higgins might be excused if she felt floored this week.

After writing a letter to The Irish Times in which she called for peace between Russia and Ukraine but failed to highlight Russia as the aggressor, the wife of President Michael D Higgins has been widely condemned. Not just in Ireland, but in Ukraine too.


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