Ireland’s President Michael D Higgins first visit to US this May
Visit takes place early next month
Irish Central - Editorial
The Irish government has announced the first visit to the U.S. by new Irish president Michael D. Higgins to take place in early May. He will speak at the American Ireland Fund dinner in New York on May 3, as well as address the American Irish Historical Society and the Irish Business Network.
Higgins has been off to a very good start in his presidency, pressing the issues of minority rights and making clear where the responsibility for Ireland’s perilous financial situation lies.
Higgins was a long time activist on many such issues, so his presidency has been predictable in that regard, but his outspoken comments have certainly been welcome.
Higgins spent time in the U.S. at Indiana University and is an old hand in dealing with the American Irish diaspora.
His attitude to America has always been that of a left wing Irish parliamentarian, ill at ease with many of America’s foreign policy decisions.
It will be interesting to see where his thoughts stray during his U.S. visit on many such issues.
Higgins has long been a champion of immigrant rights, especially in Britain where he has often visited the Irish community there.
We can hope that he can help move on the current discussion around the E-3 visa bill which has stalled in Congress, and do his best to help progress it.
The Irish president is heavily circumscribed for speaking out by the constitutional restraints, and Higgins has always been outspoken, so the job will really test his political patience.
It will be an interesting visit to assess Ireland’s new president and his impact on the Irish American community. He has started well given the deep regard and respect for his two predecessors Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson.
Regardless of the office that he holds, Mr. Higgins should be afforded the same reception here that he showed to U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and again to U.S. President George W. Bush in 2004 on their visits to Ireland. His attitude toward their visits left a great deal to be desired, on the other hand, his enthusiastic participation in the obnoxious demonstrations at Shannon Airport were absolutely beyond the pale. They were organized to intentionally ridicule, cajole, and insult our valiant American troops during their fueling stopovers going to and coming from Iraq and Afghanistan. These heroic young men and women were subjected to intense ridicule by these idiotic demonstrators for honorably serving our country.
Anybody who participated in these reprehensible demonstrations, including Mr. Higgins, should be held accountable for their actions and treated accordingly.
If any progress is to be made on the proposed Irish E-3 Visas, which looks doubtful at this time, it won't be as a result of any effort on his part. That is a matter to be decided by the U.S. Congress not by a politician from another country with a long standing anti - American agenda such as that of Mr. Higgins.
Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America
Michael D. Higgins – The most anti-American head of state in the western world. This fact is sure to do wonders for American business and tourism.
He protested against the
US Presidential visit to
Ireland in 1984.
protested against the US
Presidential visit to Ireland in 2004.
Michael D. Higgins has always been Ireland's No.1 participant in anti-American protests and demonstrations