Can we just take a second to appreciate the President of my country?

President Michael D Higgins has hit out at what he described as “the appalling, destructive reality of homophobia”.

The President made his remarks this morning while addressing a conference organised by youth organisation Foróige.

President Higgins described suicide resulting from racism and homophobia as an appalling blight on a society.

The idea that any young person would be driven not just to lower self-esteem, exclusion, isolation, loneliness but self destruction itself is an appalling blight on a society,” he said.

We have to ask about how racism gets going, how homophobia does its destructive work, how isolation tears at a person’s wanting to exist, how important every person is. These are important issues, they are not merely emotional issues,” President Higgins added.

President Higgins releases new poem on extremism

The Prophets are Weeping

To those on the road it is reported that
The Prophets are weeping,
At the abuse
Of their words,
Scattered to sow an evil seed.
Rumour has it that,
The prophets are weeping.
At their texts distorted,    
The death and destruction,
Imposed in their name.
The sun burns down,
On the children who are crying,
On the long journeys repeated,
Their questions not answered.
Mothers and Fathers hide their faces,
Unable to explain,
Why they must endlessly,
No end in sight,
Move for shelter,
For food, for safety, for hope.
The Prophets are weeping,
For the words that have been stolen,
From texts that once offered,
To reveal in ancient times,
A shared space,
Of love and care,
Above all for the stranger.

Michael D Higgins becomes Irish president

The Irish Labour party’s Michael D Higgins has been confirmed as the ninth president of the republic after winning a landslide victory in the most fractious campaign in the country’s history.

The poet and campaigner gained a 56.8% share of the vote, putting him comfortably ahead of his rivals – Dragons’ Den star Seán Gallagher, who came second, and former IRA commander Martin McGuinness, who ended in third place.

The result capped a two-day count of ballots to determine who would succeed Mary McAleese as Ireland’s ceremonial head of state.

Higgins’ victory was assured after partial results Friday gave him an unassailable lead versus six other candidates, who conceded defeat. (via guardian.co.uk)


President Michael D Higgins’ St. Patrick’s Day Message