Irish president won’t mark Northern Ireland’s 100th birthday

politico

09-17-2021

DUBLIN — Irish President Michael D. Higgins says he won’t attend a religious ceremony alongside Queen Elizabeth II commemorating the foundation of Northern Ireland a century ago. As part of Northern Ireland’s Good Friday peace accord of 1998, Ireland agreed to remove the territorial claim from its constitution. But that document still separately considers the head of state to be president of Ireland — representing Irish people worldwide, not merely the republic. The elfin 80-year-old has held the largely ceremonial post since 2011 and has often invited northern unionists to summer parties at his opulent official residence in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. “Each time President Higgins speaks about his boycott of this event, the rationale for his snub becomes more bizarre, backward and offensive,” said Democratic Unionist Party lawmaker Peter Weir.

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