President Laureate

12 Apr

Coming from a country where the president has a background in just law and politics, I was surprised to find out that the President of the Republic of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, was a poet and invited Ireland’s best musicians and poets to his house to perform together on St. Patrick’s Day. This intrigued me to find out what else Higgins does to support Irish artists of all kinds. Being an advocate for the arts, Higgins was Ireland’s first Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht. With this title, Higgins had many achievements that helped Irish artists. He reinvigorated the Irish film industry, which created several jobs for struggling citizens of Ireland. Higgins, being a supporter of the Irish language and its endurance, also established the Teilifís na Gaeilge, or TG4, the Irish language television channel.


The repeal of censorship under Section 31 of the Broadcasting Acts is also among Higgins’ several accomplishments. Perhaps the most important of his accomplishments, though, is the establishment of “a rich network of local arts and cultural venues which brought a crucial success to citizens across Ireland to these facilities” (Áras an Uachtaráin). This made it possible for those who did not have access to these kinds of venues before to be able to perform and express their musical and artistic ability. Along with a strong sponsorship of the arts, Higgins is also very supportive of Irish emigrants and makes several visits to Irish Centers abroad. Higgins himself is also a poet and writer and has written essays on Irish politics, culture, history, and sociology and he has also published four collections of poetry. He is also a promoter of peace and democracy in Ireland and has campaigned for human rights all over the world. Overall I find Michael D. Higgins a very interesting, but affective president and a role model for future leaders.


Áras an Uachtaráin. N.p., 2012. Web. 12 Apr. 2013.


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