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Higgins is 'honoured' at freedom of Cork City

PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins has said he is "deeply honoured" to accept the Freedom of Cork City.

Accepting the accolade, Mr Higgins urged that Anglo-Irish relations require a commemoration of all Irish soldiers who died in World War One.

The Galway politician accepted Cork's highest honour at a gala ceremony in City Hall, and said he was delighted to accept the award in a building graced by such patriots, as poet Terence MacSwiney and Irish Volunteers founder, Tomas MacCurtain, both former Lord Mayors of Cork died during the War of Independence.


The president also said his family has strong Cork links, with his father spending time on Leeside during the War of Independence as an intelligence officer.

His mother's family hailed from Liscarroll in north Cork.

But President Higgins made the centenary of the outbreak of World War One, one of the central themes of his address.

"During this decade of commemorations, it is important we recognise that the suffering and loss of those years, which includes the carnage of World War One was experienced disproportionately across the island," he said.

President Higgins received the freedom honour at the nomination of Lord Mayor Cllr Catherine Clancy.