Sunday 17 December 2017

Eilis O'Hanlon: Michael D doesn’t speak for us, as he should, but speaks for himself

If the President wants to issue rallying cries for political action, like the men of 1916, he should be as upfront about it as they were, says Eilis O'Hanlon

LEADER: President Michael D Higgins and his wife, Sabina. Photo: Kip Carroll
LEADER: President Michael D Higgins and his wife, Sabina. Photo: Kip Carroll

Eilis O'Hanlon

He was meant to be the guest of honour, but President Higgins withdrew from a civic reception in Belfast this week to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising after the event failed to receive cross-party support in the North. A spokesman for Aras an Uachtarain explained: "He does not want to become embroiled in matters of political controversy."

It was at this point that Irony threw up it hands in despair and said: "That's it, I'm out of here, I can't do this any more, things are getting too ridiculous even for me."

President Higgins wanting to steer clear of "matters of political controversy" is like Kim Kardashian suddenly announcing that she has a moral objection to taking selfies. Michael D has been pushing at the constitutional restraints of his office from the moment he gave a speech in 2012 to the achingly right-on hipsters of the London School of Economics in which he bent over backwards to reassure them he was on their side.

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