‘It wasn't an invitation to the opening of a credit union in Kerry' – former Taoiseach reacts to President Higgins declining event invite

Former Taoiseach John Bruton said he believes President Higgins is “wrong” not to attend a church centenary commemoration in Armagh next month.

It emerged earlier this week that Mr Higgins would not be at a centenary church commemoration of partition and the establishment of Northern Ireland scheduled for next month in Co Armagh.

Speaking to media in Rome, Mr Higgins said that he is not attending the event because he said it has become a “political statement”.

Read More

“I think he is wrong not to attend, and I think there is time for him to change his mind,” Mr Bruton said on Newstalk Breakfast today.

“Obviously it requires great strength of character to change one’s mind, but I think he should do so.

“And it is important to recognise that fact – the fact that Northern Ireland exists and is legitimate – was recognised by the Irish people when they voted in the referendum on the Good Friday Agreement.

“The Good Friday Agreement accepts that it is the present wish of the people of Northern Ireland that they remain in the United Kingdom until that view is changed.

“So in going to this event and recognising that Northern Ireland existed for the last hundred years, the President would simply be recognising something that the Irish people have recognised.”

The former Taoiseach said this is “one of the most important invitations he would have received as President.”

“It wasn’t an invitation to the opening of a credit union in Co Kerry,” he added.

“This was an invitation to attend an event which deals with a very difficult issue upon which policy is made by the Government.

“We can’t have two policies on Northern Ireland – one being made by the Government is Merrion Street, and another being made in the Phoenix Park.

“Reach out to the Unionist community, which we need to do, both over the Northern Ireland Protocol and also over the future of our country.”

Meanwhile, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Jeffrey Donaldson said the island of Ireland has taken a “retrograde step” in its shared history.

Speaking to RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland today, Mr Donaldson said: “It is regrettable that the head of state for the Republic of Ireland feels that he cannot attend this service because it’s not about politics, it’s actually about hope and reconciliation.

“We are not asking President Higgins, and it’s not my invitation, but, the churches aren’t asking President Higgins to attend some kind of reenactment event or some kind of political event, it is a church service, and actually Arlene Foster attended a church service for a similar purpose in Dublin at the time of the centenary of the Easter Rising.”

The DUP leader added that when he chaired The Centenary Committee in Northern Ireland he “made an effort to travel to Dublin and other places as part of that centenary.”

He added: “And I think we made real progress together in recognising our shared history and I think it is a retrograde step that we haven’t continued with that in respect of attendance [of President Higgins] at this particular service.”

Mr Donaldson said in order to build a shared future on the island “then surely a starting point must be that we recognise our shared history.”

He added: “I’m not asking President Higgins, nor are the church leaders, to do anything other than mark an event, a moment in history that helped to shape and define both parts of this island over the last 100 years.

“We are not asking him to become a Unionist.

“We hear a lot of words about respecting and recognising Unionism but when it comes to stepping up on the mark on this I’m afraid that hasn’t happened.”

The President is currently visiting Rome and will be meeting Pope Francis for the fourth time on Friday.

Read More

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan’s exclusive take on the day’s news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Country diary: My first sheep auction since Covid is an emotional one

As I walk through the double doors and into the auction, the smell of sheep and sawdust makes me feel suddenly emotional. During Covid I missed going to sales, missed chatting ... Read more »

‘I was terrified': the vet sterilizing Pablo Escobar's cocaine hippos

When Gina Paola Serna studied to become a biologist and veterinarian in Colombia, she never expected to one day be tasked with neutering an invasive herd of hippos that once ... Read more »

South News Weekly Rewind: Pooja Hegde proves Allu Arjun wrong, BTS from Thalapathy Vijay starrer Beast leaked and more

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com There is no dull moment in the field of entertainment. Like every week, we had an excite week as far as the south industry is concerned. ... Read more »

94.4% dewasa, 72.2% populasi lengkap divaksinasi

© Provided by MalaysiaNow 23,565,799 individu atau 94.4% populasi dewasa di seluruh negara lengkap divaksinasi setakat semalam. Sementara itu, 25,344,201 atau 97.4% populasi dewasa telah menerima sekurang-kurangnya satu suntikan vaksin ... Read more »

T20 World Cup: Pace-heavy South Africa, Australia look for spin effect

© Provided by The Times of India Australia vs South Africa: World Cup. It’s been a rivalry alright, with Sydney (1992), Headingley and Edgbaston (1999) standing out in the 50-over ... Read more »

T20 World Cup: England take on West Indies in clash of the champions

© Provided by The Times of India ODI World Cup winners England take on T20I title-holders Windies in a match between predictables and unpredictables Remember Carlos Brathwaite? His four sixes ... Read more »

'Frightening': UP Guard's Kin in Horror as Video Shows Him Losing Grip, Falling off Mumbai Building After Fire

© Provided by News18 ‘Frightening’: UP Guard’s Kin in Horror as Video Shows Him Losing Grip, Falling off Mumbai Building After Fire ‘Frightening’: UP Guard’s Kin in Horror as Video ... Read more »

India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup 2021 EXCLUSIVE: Babar Azam is a BIG player but Virat Kohli's side are favourites, says Mohammad Kaif

© Provided by Zee News Virat Kohli’s Team India will open their T20 World Cup 2021 campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan in Dubai on Sunday (October 24). Former India batter Mohammad ... Read more »

2022 AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualification: Host nations, dates, teams withdrawing and everything you need to know

The 2022 AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers is all set to get underway from October 25. The main event will be hosted in Uzbekistan from June 1 to 19, 2022. It will ... Read more »

Why Former Miss America, Who Was Crowned in 1958, Is Auctioning Off Her Crown

After six decades, Marilyn Van Derbur is bestowing her Miss America crown upon someone else. © Provided by People PhotoQuest/Getty The crown, which Van Derbur won in 1958, is currently ... Read more »

Indian Oil expects 100% refinery run in a quarter as fuel demand returns

© Provided by The Financial Express India’s energy demand had halved after a nationwide lockdown was imposed in late March last year. Indian Oil (IOC), the nation’s largest oil firm, ... Read more »

Apple MacBook Air 2022 launch date, features leaked; check details here

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: Apple had its ‘Unleashed’ event earlier this week, during which it unveiled two new MacBook Pro models, as well as next-generation AirPods and ... Read more »

The ‘Weird' Crossover Ron's Gone Wrong Has With Borat, According To The Filmmakers

© Provided by CinemaBlend Borat and Ron from Ron’s Gone Wrong Ron’s Gone Wrong allows families to get to know an unlikely pair of friends in a middle-school boy named ... Read more »

Petrol, Diesel prices today: Fuel rates hiked for fourth consecutive day; petrol crosses Rs 107 mark in Delhi | Check latest rates here

Petrol, Diesel prices today: Fuel rates hiked for fourth consecutive day; petrol crosses Rs 107 mark in Delhi| Check latest rates here On Saturday, prices of petrol and diesel soared ... Read more »

Concerns over new variant growing as hospitals feel the strain

© Getty A Covid testing centre in Lisburn. (Photo by Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty Images) Concern has emerged over a new Covid variant as 2,466 more cases of the ... Read more »

10 Stays in Cebu for Your Next Beach Getaway

© Provided by Spot.ph PHOTO Courtesy of Siri Yangu, Courtesy of Climaco Beach ILLUSTRATION War Espejo © Provided by Spot.ph PHOTO Courtesy of Siri Yangu, Courtesy of Climaco Beach ILLUSTRATION ... Read more »

Rockets bounce back, win home opener against Thunder

© Provided by SPIN.ph HOUSTON — Christian Wood had 31 points and 14 rebounds and Houston beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 124-91, on Friday night (Saturday, Manila time) in the ... Read more »

DRose, Fournier star as Knicks rain treys on Magic

© Provided by SPIN.ph By John Denton ORLANDO, Florida — Julius Randle had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and the New York Knicks improved to 2-0 for the first time ... Read more »

No 'Squid Game': South Korea faces real-life debt trap

© FAZRY ISMAIL The Netflix drama ‘Squid Game’ points to rising personal borrowing and the rarity of getting free of debt in South Korea. EPA Many small business owners in ... Read more »

London property faces supply squeeze as taxes and planning rules scare off developers

© TOBY MELVILLE Passenger trains pass Battersea Power Station, a former electricity plant in London that has been converted into luxury residential, retail and commercial premises. Reuters Property market professionals ... Read more »

7 of 11 Bengal Trekkers Who Went Missing After Avalanche in Harsil Found Dead, 2 Rescued

© Provided by News18 7 of 11 Bengal Trekkers Who Went Missing After Avalanche in Harsil Found Dead, 2 Rescued Of the 11 trekkers who went missing in an avalanche ... Read more »

Amid tight security, Amit Shah begins his 3 day J&K visit today

© Provided by Hindustan Times File photo: Union home minister Amit Shah. (ANI) Amid tight security arrangements, Union home minister Amit Shah begins his three day J&K visit today. Besides ... Read more »

UPSC Recruitment 2021: Apply for 64 Assistant Director & other posts on upsc.gov.in

Union Public Service Commission has invited applications from candidates to apply for Assistant Director and other posts. The last date to apply for the posts is till November 11, 2021. ... Read more »

J&K's higher reaches receive fresh snow, heavy rain in plains

© IANS Srinagar, Oct 23 (IANS) The higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir received fresh snowfall on Saturday, while heavy rain lashed the plains in the union territory. A Met ... Read more »

People of Goa have suffered enough over last 10 years: Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will visit Goa between October 28-30. The assembly elections in Goa are scheduled to be held early next year. Mamata Banerjee said, “As I ... Read more »

Secret hypersonic launch shows China is rocketing ahead in missile arms race

Alarm bells sounded last weekend as reports of China testing an unmanned hypersonic weapon splashed across the internet and newspapers alike. © Raytheon Missiles & Defense/Handout via REUTERS Hypersonic missiles ... Read more »

Matt Damon Talks What Actors Actually Know About Being On The Celebrity A-List

Hollywood is a strange, bizarre place. In a lot of ways it feels like it’s some alternate reality that the rest of us don’t really live in. Although, to be ... Read more »

How a 30-second blast of cold water at the end of a shower may boost immunity

© pidjoe/Getty Images How a 30-second blast of cold water at the end of a shower may boost immunity Cold showers may have benefits for your hair and skin since ... Read more »

Lose weight super fast with these 5 lateral running variants

We are all part of an instant generation; yes, we want things to happen real quick, at the snap of our fingers. Neither do we have the patience to wait ... Read more »

Coronavirus digest: New Zealand's South Island records first case in almost a year

© Provided by dw.com Blenheim, in New Zealand, where the first South Island coronavirus case in nearly a year was detected New Zealand on Saturday discovered the first COVID-19 case ... Read more »

Fauci shows that trusting scientists and trusting science aren't the same

Elite public opinion until recently deplored and even denounced the idea that the coronavirus might have come out of a Chinese laboratory, calling it a racist theory. It has since ... Read more »

The Lamborghini Urus proves its mettle in the Italian Alps

© WOLFANGO The Lamborghini Urus in the Italian Alps. Photo: Lamborghini On the face of it, this isn’t a fair race. A muscle-bound 650hp Lamborghini Urus against a man with ... Read more »

Valbuena case sentencing to begin next month on November 24—report

© Photo by Anatolii Stepanov/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images The judge presiding over the Mathieu Valbuena sex tape trial has pushed sentencing for those involved to November 24, according to ... Read more »

Sabi Ni Cristine Reyes, Lumaki Siyang 'Unwanted' Ng Ina

“I was told almost every night that I was unwanted.” Ito ang rebelasyon ni Cristine Reyes tungkol sa childhood wounds na nagdulot ng matinding trauma sa kanya mula noong siya ... Read more »

Krizza Neri still attracts suitors despite being in a lesbian relationship

© Provided by PEP.ph Ang sexual orientation ni Krizza Neri ang dahilan kaya tinalikuran nito ang entertainment industry, tatlong taon matapos na manalo sa season one ng Protégé: The Battle for ... Read more »

Rocco Nacino Admits He Used To Be A Babaero

© Provided by Cosmopolitan Philippines Rocco Nacino has come clean about his ways in the past. While guesting on the talk show Mars Pa More, the Kapuso actor answered several questions ... Read more »

Rising tide of leaks threatens to inundate Facebook

Facebook held back from doing all it could to stop users from being radicalized and US election misinformation from flooding the social network, according to media reports Friday. © Chris ... Read more »

5 lokasi Staycation bijak untuk berhujung minggu

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Staycation atau cuti inap antara aktiviti yang semakin popular dalam kalangan pelancong domestik baru-baru, terutama pada hujung minggu. (Gambar PulaiThree, Kuala Kubu Bharu, Azfar ... Read more »

Terbuka Denmark: Pengalaman, kematangan bezakan Zii Jia, Axelsen

© Provided by Sinar Harian PENGALAMAN dan kematangan sekali lagi merupakan dua perkara membezakan persembahan juara Sukan Olimpik Tokyo 2020, Viktor Axelsen dan juara Seluruh England, Lee Zii Jia apabila ... Read more »

Prabhas turns 42. Fans celebrate Baahubali star's birthday with photos and videos

Prabhas is celebrating his 42nd birthday today, October 23. Prabhas, who is fondly called Rebel Star by his fans, is celebrating his 42nd birthday today, October 23. On this day, ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic