The Presidency of Michael D. Higgins

The Presidency of Michael D. Higgins

“My Presidency will be a Presidency of transformation, recognising and building on the many positive initiatives already under way in communities, in the economy, and in individual and collective efforts throughout our land. It will be a Presidency that celebrates all of our possibilities. It will seek to be of assistance and encouragement to investment and job creation, to innovation and original thinking – a Presidency of ideas – recognising and open to new paradigms of thought and action. It will aspire to turn the best of ideas into living realities for all of our people, realising our limitless possibilities – ár feidireachtaí gan teorainn.”

“In making that transformation, it is necessary to move past the assumptions which have failed us and to work together for such a different set of values as will enable us to build a sustainable social economy and a society which is profoundly ethical and inclusive. A society and a state which will restore trust and confidence at home and act as a worthy symbol of Irishness abroad, inviting relationships of respect and co-operation across the world.”

Inaugural address, 11 November 2011

- A Real Republic

President Michael D. Higgins believes in and is committed to a Real Republic, founded on principles of equality, participation and recognition of the dignity of all citizens.

“The demands and the rewards of building a real and inclusive Republic in its fullest sense remains as a challenge for us all, but it is one we should embrace together.”

Inaugural address, 11 November 2011

- Inclusive citizenship

In implementing the mandate you have given me, I will seek to achieve an inclusive citizenship where every citizen participates and everyone is treated with respect. I will highlight and support initiatives for inclusion across Ireland and also make it a priority to visit and to support the participation of the most excluded in our society, including those in institutional care.”

“We must seek to build together an active, inclusive citizenship; based on participation, equality, respect for all and the flowering of creativity in all its forms. A confident people is our hope, a people at ease with itself, a people that grasps the deep meaning of the proverb ‘ní neart go cur le chéile’ – our strength lies in our common weal – our social solidarity.”

“Active citizenship requires the will and the opportunity to participate at every level and in every way – to be the arrow; not the target.”

Inaugural address, 11 November 2011

- Creative Society

President Higgins invites every Irish citizen to become part of Ireland’s creative society.

“I will champion creative communities who are bringing about positive change at local level by giving recognition to their achievements on the national stage. I believe that when we encourage the seedbed of creativity in our communities and ensure that each child and adult has the opportunity for creative expression, we also lay the groundwork for sustainable employment in creative industries and enrich our social, cultural and economic development.”

Inaugural address, 11 November 2011

- A Shared Future

“In promoting inclusion and creativity, I will be inviting all citizens, of all ages, to make their own imaginative and practical contribution to the shaping of our shared future.  A common shared future built on the spirit of co-operation, the collective will and real participation in every aspect of the public world is achievable and I believe we can achieve it together. In our rich heritage some of our richest moments have been those that turned towards the future and a sense of what might be possible. It is that which brought us to independence. It is that which has enabled us to overcome adversity and it is that which will enable us to transcend our present difficulties and celebrate the real Republic which is ours for the making.

Every age, after all, must have its own Aisling and dream of a better, kinder, happier, shared world.”

Inaugural address, 11 November 2011

Presidency Seminars – Shaping Ireland’s Shared Future

“During my Presidency, I also intend to hold a number of Presidency Seminars which may reflect and explore themes important to our shared life yet separate and wider than legislative demand, themes such as the restoration of trust in our institutions, the ethical connection between our economy and society, the future of a Europe built on peace, social solidarity and sustainability.”

Inaugural address, 11 November 2011

The first of President Higgins’ Presidency Seminars ‘Being Young and Irish’ seeks to advance the national discourse on inclusion by harnessing the power of young people, enabling them to participate and be more involved in decision making. ‘Being Young and Irish’ aims to hear from young Irish people aged 17 to 26 at home and abroad.

Further seminars will take place throughout President Higgins’ seven year term and will encompass consideration of global issues, stressing the importance of the ethical connection between politics, economy, development and society.

The Presidency Seminars – 2011 to 2018

> Being Young and Irish – May to September 2012 

Representing the People of Ireland

The President represents the People of Ireland and is directly elected by his people. The President’s weekly engagements diary gives an idea of the extensive range of his activities and commitments.

In any one week the President in his Constitutional Role could be considering and signing legislation or warrants of appointment relating to members of the judiciary or offices of the Defence Forces, meeting with the Taoiseach, accepting the credentials of foreign Ambassadors, visiting any of the thirty two counties on the island of Ireland, going overseas on official business, speaking at a public event, delivering the opening address at a conference and/or considering representations received from members of the public and answering correspondence.

Speeches & remarks

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The President of Ireland speaks at virtually every one of his public engagements. He either delivers a full speech or makes informal remarks. Through the written and spoken word the President articulates the vision and themes of his Presidency to the public and seeks to focus attention on the issues and problems that are important in our shared civic life. Through his speeches, the President can contribute to public the public discourse and encourage new ideas for shaping Ireland’s future.

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