Tuesday 12 December 2017

People Are Talking: Michael D's going native

Eilis O'Hanlon

Now that President Higgins' first State visit to Britain has been announced, the Brits have just five months to decide what to call him.

They didn't want to use "President of Ireland" when Mrs Robinson popped in for tea at Buckingham Palace in case it upset the Unionists. "Mary from next door" it was then. Maybe they'll introduce Michael D as "that funny little fella who keeps popping in and trying to read his poetry".

Only kidding. April's visit will be a historic occasion, not least because it will surely enter the Guinness Book of Records for the most ever uses of the word "historic". Higgins is even going to address a joint sitting of the House of Commons and House of Lords, an honour accorded to no other Irish person before. Except Bertie Ahern, that is. But the former Taoiseach is He Who Must Not Be Named these days.

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