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'Delay inauguration ceremony' - Higgins


President Michael D Higgins

President Michael D Higgins

President Michael D Higgins

Michael D Higgins has asked for his inauguration ceremony to be delayed so that people can attend this year's Armistice Day commemorations.

The inauguration ceremony is due to take place at 11am on November 11, the same time that Ireland will mark the day, 100 years ago, when the guns fell silent at the end of the World War I.

In a landslide victory, the 77-year-old poet, professor and campaigner was re-elected last Saturday with more than 55pc of the vote.

The Office of the President said Mr Higgins had asked the Government to hold the inauguration ceremony in the evening, rather than the morning, to accommodate all those who wished to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.


A spokesman said Mr Higgins was conscious of the desire of many Irish people to participate in commemoration ceremonies to remember the many Irishmen and women who lost their lives during the war.

Meanwhile, former president Mary Robinson (74) has been appointed chair of The Elders, the peace and human rights campaigning group.

The international organisation of senior public figures was established in 2007 by the former South African president Nelson Mandela, who died in 2013.

Seventy-four-year-old Mrs Robinson becomes the third person to chair the group.

She follows in the footsteps of Desmond Tutu, the former archbishop of Cape Town, and former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan, who died earlier this year.

Mrs Robinson said it was a "huge honour" to take up the role at such a critical moment for peace, justice and human rights worldwide.

"Building on the powerful legacies of archbishop Tutu and Kofi Annan, I am confident that our group's voice can both be heard by leaders and amplify grassroots activists fighting for their rights," she said.

Mr Higgins congratulated Mrs Robinson on her appointment, saying it was a "testament to the very high regard in which she is held at a global level".