Monday 20 November 2017

Ian O’Doherty: Michael D – for when platitudes are just what we need

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Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

He may make for an unlikely President, but when he makes history by becoming the first Irish president to pay an official state visit to Britain, we should be grateful we voted for Michael D Higgins.

That's not a statement I ever thought I'd make. After all, no cause has ever been too trendy, no target too easy and no argument too populist for this ultimate embodiment of woolly, Galway liberalism to embrace. In fact, you only have to look at the controversy over his continued refusal to mention Christ during his Christmas address, or his wife's protocol-stretching visit to that ludicrous 'peace activist' Margaretta D'Arcy in prison, to argue that he represents a brand of rather smug, right-on intellectualism that is as predictable as it is tedious.

David Norris may have been the more entertaining candidate. But there was always the fear that he would go off the reservation and would, inevitably, shoot from the quip and walk himself into a lot of Presidential bother.

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