Friday 20 April 2018

Castro's revolutionary chic was too alluring for young firebrand Higgins

President Michael D Higgins Photo credit: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
President Michael D Higgins Photo credit: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Gerard O'Regan

It was another time, another place, and our current President, Michael D Higgins, had much more hair than he has these days. He also had one of the poshest Clare accents around.

Back in the early 1970s, I was plying my trade with the 'Tuam Herald' and Michael D - as he was known by one and all - was a lecturer in UCG.

But in Galway city and county, he cut a dash as a political firebrand - looking back through the years, it seems as if he was always angry about something or other. He was desperately trying to get elected as a TD but, frustratingly for him, he came up short in 1969 and 1973. He wouldn't make it to Leinster House until 1981.

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