Well done to a worthy winner
President Michael D Higgins is to be warmly congratulated, not only on his re-election, but for the dignified manner in which he conducted his campaign in what was for many an uncomfortable presidential election marked by a high level of divisiveness that was unbecoming the Office of the President of Ireland.
Mr Higgins and indeed his wife Sabina are also wished well over the next seven years as he sets about implementing the intentions of his thoughtful campaign, particularly his exciting Imagination of the Nation programme celebrating the past, present and future of the arts. Furthermore, there could be no better president as Ireland continues to mark a Decade of Centenaries which commemorates, in a tolerant, inclusive and respectful way, each step taken by the country between 1912 and 1922.
Whatever about the manner of the election campaign itself, there is no doubt that Mr Higgins, the second ever president to be re-elected by way of a popular vote, was by far the most impressive and well-liked candidate, a testimony to his dedication and hard work, and indeed to his mischievous and geniality, as president over the last seven years.
In that regard, he is the latest in a long time of presidents who have served the country well.
To paraphrase President Michael D Higgins himself, the important thing now is to have a celebration and then with determination move into our common, shared and different future. We wish him well in continuing to make an Irishness to be proud of in a real Republic.