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THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW 2011 - 2018

THE PRESIDENT OF IRELAND UACHTARÁN NA hÉIREANN A

THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW 2011 - 2018


My Presidency will be a Presidency of transformation, recognising and building on the many positive initiatives already under way in communities, in the economy, and in individual and collective efforts throughout our land. 11 November 2011

THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW 2011 - 2018


CONTENTS Foreword 04 รras an Uachtarรกin: A Place of Welcomes

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Commemorating and Remembering

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Representing the State

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Special Initiatives

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Commemorative Art

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Ireland's Voice Abroad

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Promoting Irish Business

25

Reaching Out to the Irish Diaspora

27

Fostering Irishness at its best

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The 'Centenarian Bounty'

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Finances and Governance

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Presidency Timeline

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Annexes 46

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KEY NUMBERS 2011-2018

1,584

Total number of events hosted at Áras an Uachtaráin

71

Presidential Distinguished Service Awards presented

1,407

Presidential events countrywide

152

Major sports events attended

2,991

Events in Ireland

2,452 “Centenarian Bounty” awarded 33

Estimated number of visitors 140,000 received at Áras an Uachtaráin

708 332 209

22

52

Formal courtesy calls Citizen groups and NGOs hosted Official lunches/dinners Afternoon Tea receptions for active citizen groups

305

Bills considered and signed into law

44

Appointment ceremonies (*)

212

Foreign Ambassadors accredited

64

Credentials ceremonies

10

State Visits undertaken

6

State Visits hosted at Áras an Uachtaráín

31

Countries visited

Themed Garden Parties

1,014

Major speeches delivered

112

Events for Irish diaspora

387

“Article 28” meetings with An Taoiseach

(*) Formal appointments, including appointments of Taoiseach, members of Government, Judges, etc

Gaisce Gold Awards presented 2

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Visiting the Ulster American Folk Park, Co. Tyrone, 2018

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FOREWORD me in my various initiatives and events. I very much appreciate the services of Government Departments, State bodies such as the Office of Public Works, An Garda Síochána, the Defence Forces and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The extent of this support is illustrated in this report.

This review provides comprehensive detail of the programme of work I have undertaken as Uachtarán na hÉireann in the period since my inauguration on 11 November 2011 until the end of the term, on 10 November 2018. It provides an accessible overview of many of the highlights of the past seven years and a brief summary of the rationale behind the many events that I have hosted and the hundreds of organisations that I have invited to the home of the President of Ireland, Áras an Uachtaráin, as a mark of our nation’s appreciation for the valuable work they do.

May I thank all those people and organisations that have played a part in the events and initiatives described in this report, and may I thank the people of Ireland for the trust they have placed in me during my first term as President of Ireland.

In publishing this review, my hope is to contribute to greater transparency and a fuller understanding of the work of the President of Ireland. While the role and powers of the President are described in the Constitution of Ireland, Bunreacht na hÉireann, and many of the arrangements that apply to the Office are set out in detail in legislation, this report sets the context for many of the events that have taken place at Áras an Uachtaráin, and gives some of the background to my activities around Ireland and further afield. Over the past seven years I have aspired to use the Office of the Presidency to stimulate and shape a national discussion on the challenges we are facing - challenges at individual, local, national and global level. Through my public and private engagements, I have strived to encourage and facilitate public debate on a wide range of issues, supporting and promoting shared spaces for the people of Ireland to engage with, and transform, the forces that are shaping our society. In this work, I have been supported not just by the staff in my own Office and at Áras an Uachtaráin, but also by the many organisations that have worked with

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Discussion with Pope Francis in the President's Study at รras an Uachtarรกin, 2018

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ÁRAS AN UACHTARÁIN: A PLACE OF WELCOMES

On his election in 2011, President Michael D. Higgins said he aspired to make his Presidency one of ideas and of transformation. During his first term, the President sought to promote reflection and action on contemporary challenges in Ireland, the European Union and across the globe. play a vital role in our democracy. By championing causes, enriching public debate and creating spaces for participation and representation by marginalised groups of people, citizens' groups ensure that it is not only those who have resources that can have their voices heard.  

“My Presidency will be a Presidency of transformation, recognising and building on the many positive initiatives already under way in communities, in the economy, and in individual and collective efforts throughout our land. It will be a Presidency that celebrates all of our possibilities. It will seek to be of assistance and encouragement to investment and job creation, to innovation and original thinking – a Presidency of ideas – recognising and open to new paradigms of thought and action.

Many of the events hosted by President Higgins in the past seven years were aimed at acknowledging and supporting the efforts of these groups.

It will aspire to turn the best of ideas into living realities for all of our people, realising our limitless possibilities – ár feidireachtaí gan teorainn.” Inaugural address, 11 November 2011

By hosting events at Áras an Uachtaráin, the President has highlighted the work of people and organisations whose endeavours to bring us closer to the Real Republic we aspire to and whose activities illustrate “the very best qualities of mind, and the instincts of the heart” needed to bring about social and political change. Since his inauguration, President Higgins has invited an estimated 140,000 people to Áras an Uachtaráin. Throughout his first term, President Higgins has sought to highlight and support all forms of inclusive action across Ireland, celebrating initiatives taken by groups of active citizens. These civil society initiatives are undertaken by people from communities across the island of Ireland. They are independent of the State, largely self-reliant and

From Top: President hosting pupils from Ballycar National School, 2012, and the Young Social Innovators of the Year, 2013

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I will champion creative communities who are bringing about positive change at local level by giving recognition to their achievements on the national stage. I believe that when we encourage the seedbed of creativity in our communities and ensure that each child and adult has the opportunity for creative expression, we also lay the groundwork for sustainable employment in creative industries and enrich our social, cultural and economic development. Inaugural address, 11 November 2011

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Hosting a special reception for women who worked in the Magdalene institutions, 2018

At most public events, the President takes the opportunity to articulate the vision and themes of his Presidency and focusing attention on the issues and problems that are important in our shared civic life. Through his speeches President Higgins aims to increase the quality and breadth of public debate, providing intellectual leadership to help people challenge the assumptions underlying much of what we do and say. The ultimate aim of the President’s speeches is to increase the quality and breadth of public debate, providing intellectual leadership to help people challenge the assumptions underlying much of what we do and say. The President has emphasised the importance of empowering everyone to participate in public debate by encouraging wider access to education and economic literacy and by promoting the teaching of history and philosophy in schools. All speeches are published online on the Áras an Uachtaráin website, www.president.ie, and social media.

Ireland failed you. When you were vulnerable and in need of the support of Irish society and its institutions, its authorities did not cherish you, protect you, respect your dignity or meet your needs and so many in the wider society colluded with their silence. Address to women who worked in the Magdalene institutions, 5 June 2018

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Community Day (North-South) Garden Party, 2015

Garden Parties

Laundries. The event brought together women from Ireland, the UK, the USA and Australia for the first time. Other events celebrated Ireland’s increasing cultural and ethnic diversity, and the many people and organisations that provide care and support for vulnerable members of society.

The Garden Parties continue a tradition started by Ireland’s first President Douglas Hyde. Each year, President and Sabina Higgins have hosted a series of Garden Parties to celebrate the people and organisations working to build a better Ireland for all. Every summer some 4,000 people from all over the island of Ireland have been invited to Áras an Uachtaráin for a series of events focused on themes that are central to the work of President Higgins. These themes included: • Culture: The President has hosted several Garden Parties celebrating aspects of Ireland’s culture, including the Irish language, amateur dramatics, theatre, writers, literature and the visual arts. •

North-South cooperation: The President has used the Garden Parties to pay tribute to grassroots organisations working to promote peace and reconciliation, and North-South cooperation, on the island of Ireland. Family: President Higgins has hosted many Family Day Garden Parties, opening up Áras an Uachtaráin to families and children from all over Ireland in a celebration of love, solidarity, diversity and inter-dependence in families of all shapes and sizes.

Youth: The President has hosted a number of events celebrating the young people of Ireland and paying tribute to the many people and organisations that support young people on a daily basis.

History: The President hosted a Garden Party to mark the 80th anniversary of the inauguration of Ireland’s first President, Douglas Hyde, in 1938, and others to commemorate historic events such as the 1913 Lockout, the Easter Rising and to pay tribute to the suffragette movement and to all those who have worked to promote women’s rights and equal participation in society.

Sustainability: The President has hosted a number of Garden Parties to celebrate Sustainable Communities all over Ireland including our island communities, paying tribute to people and organisations working to promote thriving, durable communities at home and abroad.

There were also Themed Garden Parties for, among others, Members of the Houses of the Oireachtas and the Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly, Musical Societies, members of the various Emergency Services, island communities and yoga practitioners.

• Inclusion: In 2018, for instance, President and Sabina Higgins hosted a historic gathering of over 220 women who worked in the Magdalene 9

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1. Garden Party themes 2016 ‘Multi-Cultural’ day (cultural and ethnic groups) ‘Sustainable Development’ Community and voluntary groups ‘Gaeilge sa Ghairdín’ Bloomsday ‘Children of the Revolution’ (1916) Family Day International Day of Yoga

2012 Bloomsday Community Day Community Day Community Day Emergency Services Family Day Being Young and Irish 2013 Community Day Community Day International Social Justice and Solidarity Family Day Community Day 1913 Lockout Community Day Community Day

2017 Bloomsday Celebrating Island Life Family Day Crafts and Creative Arts ‘Care and Solidarity in the Community’ ‘Fáilte’ (Ireland’s new citizens) Community Day Community Day

2014 President of Ireland Ethics Initiative Family Day Bloomsday Members of the Houses of the Oireachtas and the Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly Community Day Community Day / eclectic Musical Societies Community Day

2018 Family Day North-South cooperation on the island of Ireland. Bloomsday, arts and culture. Young people Douglas Hyde Suffragette movement Sustainable Communities Presidential Concert Plus: Special event for Women who worked in the Magdalene institutions

2015 Bloomsday Community Day Family Day Multi-Cultural Groups Community Day Amateur Dramatics Societies Community Day

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The President invites thousands of families and citizens groups to the annual themed Garden Parties.

Multi-cultural garden party, 2015

Children Of The Revolution, 2016

International Day of Yoga, 2016

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COMMEMORATING AND REMEMBERING Over the past seven years, President Higgins has sought to lead a public debate on the centenary of the 1916 Rising, and on other pivotal moments in our nation’s past. His approach has been to highlight significant events in our nation’s history, and situate them in their historical, political and social context. The President’s rationale has been that we must understand and engage with the similarities and differences in contemporary peoples’ experience of events in our nation’s past, in order to inform our future. Our future, on these islands and on this planet, will depend on the quality of the decisions we take in the present. Our understanding of our collective past, of our shared struggles, our triumphs and our failures, will have decisive influence on the choices that we together make for our future. "All societies emerging out of conflict wrestle with the legacy of the past and how to address it. They must consider, not only what is consciously recalled by an individual act of memory, but what is unconsciously transmitted, often through uncritically accepted versions of the past and for which the status of culture is often claimed. What to remember, and how to remember it, carries the inescapable implication of ethics. It is important that any approach to dealing with the past recognises the complex relationship that exists between memory, ethics and forgiveness." 27 June 2015

Let us revive the best of the promise of 1916, so that those coming generations might experience freedom in the full sense of the term - freedom from poverty, freedom from violence and insecurity, and freedom from fear. 28 March 2016

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There is now a renewed awareness that the women of the revolutionary generation ventured everything – their lives, their ‘respectability’, their fortunes – to win many of the rights that we hold dear today. 7 October 2018

The President’s approach to the Decade of Centenaries has been to ensure that this time of intense public remembering would go beyond a simple memorialising of the past, and would be used to ensure that we, as a nation, should engage in 'ethical remembrance'. Through his work, President Higgins invited us to engage with the complex and difficult legacies of our history, and to recognise the diversity of perspectives on our shared history. By leading public commemorations he has shaped public discourse, recognising complexity, expanding on the ethical issues involved in the process of commemoration itself, drawing attention to the silenced role of women and labour; providing the language and ideas which allow the public to engage with events such as the 1916 Rising and the First World War in an enriching way, and in a way that is not divisive. The President’s emphasis on the ideals underpinning the Irish Revolution and their potential for our future is a very optimistic message which has found great resonance with the public at home as well as with our diaspora. The President’s approach was to systematically strive to include those voices which had been excluded, disenfranchised or marginalised, whether by virtue of their class, their ethnicity or their gender. As a result, the historical contribution of Irish women, not only in the battle for national independence, but in the struggle for workers’ rights, for women’s rights, for emancipation and for equality, has come more to the fore.

With actors at the Ceremonial event for the Irish Citizen Army and James Connolly, 2016

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REPRESENTING THE STATE The President is Ireland's Head of State, directly elected by the people of Ireland to be their principal public representative. The formal powers and functions of the President are prescribed by the Constitution, and many of the President’s activities relate to the exercise of the powers entrusted to the office holder by the Constitution.

Appointments

Ambassadors

• In May 2016, President Higgins appointed and presented the Seal of Office to Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD and members of the Government.

During President Higgins’ first term, 212 foreign Ambassadors presented their Credentials - the official documents identifying the new Ambassadors as official representatives of their Head of State - to President Higgins.

• In June 2017, President Higgins appointed and presented the Seal of Office to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD and members of the Government.

The President has endeavoured to include more people in the ceremonial events at Áras an Uachtaráin. For instance, the President usually invites Transition Year students to the Credentials ceremonies that take place on a regular basis.

The President also appoints many other public officials including judges, the Attorney General, the Comptroller and Auditor General, the Ombudsman, Commissioned officers of the Defence Forces and members of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD arriving at Áras an Uachtaráin, to be appointed Taoiseach of the 32nd Dáil, 2016

With HE Mrs. Radhika Lal Lokesh, Ambassador of India, 2016

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Words matter. They are the essence of diplomacy, because words both define and shape solutions – they can liberate and open up possibilities, but they can also shut down debate and dialogue. 24 January 2018

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Legislation Bills passed by the Houses of the Oireachtas must be considered by the President and signed by him before they become law. Under the provisions of Article 25 of Bunreacht na hÉireann, a Bill must, with some exceptions, be signed by the President on the 5th, 6th or 7th day after it is presented for his signature, and the President must give careful consideration to each Bill presented to him. The Constitution also provides the President with the power to refer certain Bills to the Supreme Court for a determination as to whether the Bill - or any part of it - is repugnant to the Constitution. In those situations, the President must consult with the Council of State before making such a referral. The decision whether to refer a Bill to the Supreme Court, however, is the President’s alone.

Meetings of the Council of State • In July 2013, the President called a meeting of the Council of State to consider the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 - the 27th time in the history of the State that the Council of State was convened. • In December 2016, the President called the Council of State to consider the International Protection Bill 2015. Over the past seven years, President Higgins has considered and signed over 300 Bills.

Meeting of the Council of State, 2013

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Welcoming Ian Paisley to รras an Uachtarรกin, 2012

Dr Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of the UAE National Assembly, 2017

First meeting of the Government of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, 2017

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His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, introducing members of his delegation, 2017

State and ceremonial events As Head of State, the President represents Ireland, reflecting the highest values and aspirations of the people of Ireland. This means that, in addition to his formal tasks as Head of State, the President also plays a significant role as the representative of the people of Ireland. The President has led the nation in ceremonies commemorating pivotal events in our history, such as the Great Famine and the 1916 Easter Rising, and he has shaped State events, such as those remembering the victims of war and conflict and the role of women in Irish history. The President has led events celebrating exceptional people and extraordinary achievements, and in doing so, he has illustrated that the representational role of the President and symbolises the unity of the nation.

We are all but migrants in time and space – transient travellers who must do our best to pass on to the next generations, a hospitable ground, on which they can flourish – let us try to do it together. 8 November 2016

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SPECIAL INITIATIVES “During my Presidency, I also intend to hold a number of Presidency Seminars which may reflect and explore themes important to our shared life yet separate and wider than legislative demand, themes such as the restoration of trust in our institutions, the ethical connection between our economy and society, the future of a Europe built on peace, social solidarity and sustainability.”

Inaugural address, 11 November 2011

In his inaugural address President Higgins had expressed his wish to engage with young people as part of a series of seminars during his Presidency. In 2012 he called on young people to ‘Take Charge of Change’ and invited them to share their vision for Ireland’s future with him. Over four months President Higgins gathered young people’s suggestions and ideas for Ireland’s future through an online consultation and four regional workshops. At the end of those four months the ‘Being Young and Irish’ report was published.

The President of Ireland’s Ethics Initiative

With Glen Hansard, 2013

The President of Ireland’s Ethics Initiative aimed to stimulate discussion, across all sectors of Irish society, on the challenges of living together ethically, examining the question as to what values and actions we should prioritise as a country.

Glaoch – The President’s Call In early 2013, at the President’s invitation, some of Ireland's most renowned musicians and singers, as well as emerging artists, gathered at Áras an Uachtaráin to make a special programme dedicated to Irish people worldwide. The performances of all the artists were filmed in Áras an Uachtaráin, allowing viewers everywhere to experience the historic and beautiful home of the Presidents of Ireland and join the celebrations of Irishness, Irish creativity and its reach and impact across the world.

Launched in early 2013, the Ethics Initiative was President Higgins’ invitation to the public to explore our values as a society. Over a two-year period, the Ethics Initiative succeeded in mapping out the issues that need to be addressed, and the types of changes that need to occur in our society, in areas as diverse as governance, regulation, culture, language, and education. And the initiative gave, in turn, rise to new initiatives, including the creation of the Centre for the Study of the Moral Foundations of Economy and Society, the establishment of the UCD Centre for Ethics in Public Life, and the launch of the annual Young Philosopher Awards.

Being Young And Irish The President’s second Special Initiative, ‘Being Young and Irish’ sought to collate the views, hopes and ideas from young people about the future of Ireland and our shared planet.

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'Bíonn siúlach scéalach' – 'Travellers have tales to tell'. There is a rich tradition in our history of the deep respect for travellers who visited towns and villages with multi-layered stories of history, culture and folklore. These 'seanchaidhthe', or storytellers, were offered hospitality and welcomed with open arms by communities eager to learn news and stories from the provinces. In an ever-shrinking world, there exist now in Ireland many opportunities to learn from all four corners of the earth and we welcome our new communities, eager to absorb your own rich histories and cultures. 7 June 2016

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Launching the 'Being Young and Irish' initiative, 2012

The simplistic solutions put forward by the voices of fear and cultural entrenchment are ones that are not fit for a world that requires more, not less, understanding of complexity, more, not less, cooperation, and more, not less, concerted action on the common issues that concern all those who dwell on this Earth. 22 May 2017

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COMMEMORATIVE ART

Unveiling 'The People's Acorn' with Mamo McDonald and 4 year old Niall Conroy, 2017

In late 2015, President Michael D. Higgins and Sabina Higgins invited a number of renowned artists to propose a suitable 1916 commemorative piece for installation in the grounds of Áras an Uachtaráin, as an appropriate and permanent tribute to the men and women whose effort and sacrifice contributed so much to Irish freedom. Fourteen Artists responded to the President’s initial invitation and between them provided a broad range of proposals. Out of these, an independent jury of experts chose Rachel Joynt’s ‘Dearcán na nDaoine / The People’s Acorn’, which was unveiled in December 2017. The installation is surrounded by 16 birch trees, planted in a semi-circle – one each for the 16 leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, executed for their involvement in the rebellion. The unveiling ceremony in December 2017 was attended by 170 children from 7 schools, who contributed their thoughts and wishes for Ireland’s future, as well as older people who wrote their thoughts and memories for inclusion in the time capsule. Also in attendance were a number of relatives of people who died in the Easter Rising, as well as artists and members of the jury who selected the winning design. The entire process of the preparation, production and instalment was filmed and a series of mini documentaries was broadcast on Oireachtas TV and published on the President's website, www.president.ie.

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Unveiling 'The Plough and the Stars', May Day 2018

In May 2018, President and Sabina Higgins unveiled another public art installation in the gardens of Áras an Uachtaráin, in commemoration of the 1913 Lockout of Dublin workers – a founding moment for workers and trade unionism in Ireland – and of the Citizen Army and its first secretary and historian, playwright Sean O’Casey. Named “The Plough and the Stars”, the art object is a collaboration between renowned sculptor John Behan, former National Ploughing champion Gerry King and the Office of Public Works. The piece is based on a Wexford Star plough, manufactured in the 1930s by the Wexford Engineering company, donated to Áras an Uachtaráin by Ms. Anna May McHugh in recognition of the President and Sabina’s involvement in the National Ploughing Championships.

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IRELAND'S VOICE ABROAD The President represents all the people of Ireland, both at home and abroad. In this context, President Higgins has continued to play an active role in promoting Ireland’s image and role in the international arena. President Higgins has made the promotion of an ethical and human rights based foreign policy one of the corner stones of his Presidency. The President has argued that Ireland must play a leadership role in addressing global challenges, encouraging states to move beyond a focus on a narrow and shortterm focus on ‘interests’ only, seeking instead a global common good. In a world where the economies, lifestyles and policies of countries are profoundly intertwined, small countries with open economies such as Ireland depend fundamentally on the promotion of a world system based on the rule of law and equality between nations, with strong global institutions, and strong bonds between peoples and governments, across borders and boundaries. State Visits, which occur at the formal invitation of another Head of State, express the quality of relations between Ireland and the host country and provide an opportunity for enhanced cooperation between the two States.

With Prime Minister Tsipras of Greece, at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, 2016

The President’s visits abroad serve to deepen and strengthen Ireland’s bonds with other counties, to highlight our cultural and historic links with those countries, and support Irish businesses, opening doors for companies and Irish entrepreneurs. Since his inauguration in November 2011, President Higgins has undertaken 10 State Visits and 43 Official Visits, supporting the Irish communities and showcasing Irish talent and expertise in business, tourism and culture in 31 different countries.

Addressing the ‘Summit of Consciences for the Climate’ in Paris, 2015

Visiting Heads of State are invited to plant a tree at Áras an Uachtaráin.

Hosting the President of Croatia, HE Ms Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, 2017

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The tradition of planting ceremonial trees in the grounds of Áras an Uachtaráin was initiated in 1939 by President Douglas Hyde. Since then all Presidents of Ireland have planted ceremonial trees and visiting Heads of State have also been asked to plant trees.


PROMOTING IRISH BUSINESS

Addressing a business meeting hosted by Tourism Ireland in Sydney, 2017

On his State and Official Visits abroad, the President is accompanied by representatives of State bodies such as Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Culture Ireland and Tourism Ireland. The President has stated that, at a time of increasing global challenges, it is important for Irish companies to find new markets for their goods and services, and for Ireland to offer a bridge to the European Union for foreign companies looking to reach EU markets. There are thousands of Irish companies succeeding across the world by being innovative, scaling up and diversifying into new export markets, and the President's foreign visits provide opportunities to highlight the scope for growing business links with a wider variety of international partners. The President’s State Visit to Australia, for instance, was accompanied by a trade mission including over 50 companies – from nine different sectors, ranging from digital technologies to health care, construction and consumer products – looking to expand trading relations between Ireland and Australia. President Higgins attended significant business events in countries as diverse as: Australia, Brazil, China, Croatia, France, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, South Africa, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.

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President Higgins and President Tran Ä?ai Quang witnessing the signing of a US$ 2 billion wind energy agreement between Mainstream Renewable Power and Phu Cuong Group, Vietnam, 2016

The President plays an active part in the promotion of Ireland's image abroad, and as part of that role, the President meets with business leaders at home and abroad, encouraging investment in Ireland. The President continually engages with State bodies such as IDA Ireland, the agency responsible for the attraction and retention of foreign direct investment into Ireland. The President also regularly meets with representatives from trade unions and employers's associations, as well as with many other businesses and organisations that contribute to sustainable economic development and shared prosperity. Reception for female entrepreneurs, 2018

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REACHING OUT TO THE IRISH DIASPORA Tarraingíonn scéal scéal eile - One story leads to another. A simple phrase but one which captures the dense and intertwined nature of our history on this small island – the fact that no single story can ever be separated from the story of the neighbour, the putative ‘other’.

Through State and Official Visits, and his ongoing outreach to the diaspora, President Higgins aims to engage with Irish people worldwide. Throughout his term in office, President Higgins has emphasised the global nature of Ireland’s cultural heritage, the significance of the diaspora and the common history and identity we share “despite the borders, oceans and miles that may separate us”. "Our diaspora is one of Ireland’s greatest resources: through the contribution our people make to the nations they migrate to, through the bonds they forge with the peoples of those countries, our migrants have allowed Ireland to have global connections far beyond our size." 14 November 2014 Acknowledging that the Irish nation extends beyond our island, the President actively seeks to meet with a broad range of people from the Irish diaspora on all his foreign visits. Each year, the President also presents the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad – an award that recognises the service given to this country or to Irish communities abroad by those who live outside Ireland.

4 June 2016

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Ours is a society where the work of the imagination is valued by members of the public, where the fruits of the imagination are appreciated and enjoyed, where a young person who discovers he or she has a talent can have reasonable expectation that their talent will be welcomed and celebrated. 13 September 2017

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FOSTERING IRISHNESS AT ITS BEST Creativity is one of the core themes of the Presidency of Michael D. Higgins. Since his inauguration in 2011, President Higgins has spoken on numerous occasions of how, by giving recognition to and encouraging the development of culture and creativity in our society we lay the foundations for an inclusive citizenship; a citizenship built on a sense of shared meaning, heritage and identity.

Creativity and Inclusion “I believe that Ireland now stands at a critical turning point in our social history.

The President has hosted events, and visited organisations and people, who safeguard our cultural heritage, in its many different forms – a heritage that connects us to our shared past and celebrates our creative present.

We have recently come through a baleful chapter of that history, a chapter which saw the collapse of a version of Ireland built on speculation, individualism and an extreme form of neo-liberal economics which severed the economy from social reality. It is a chapter in which some suffered more than others, a chapter which saw an ever growing and deepening crisis in areas such as homelessness, drug addiction, alcohol abuse, suicide and family breakdown.

Throughout the seven years of his first term as President of Ireland, President Higgins has made the case for art and creativity, highlighting the power of art to engage and the importance of creativity in thought and expression. The President has argued that support for artists entails support for initiatives that at once reflect modern-day society and challenge contemporary thinking.

We are now moving slowly towards economic recovery but remain challenged by the task of building a society that offers all our citizens an opportunity to flourish.�

By actively supporting artists, President Higgins aims to support those sectors of society that emphasise diversity and question the dominance of the accepted myths that determine the discourse of our times.

23 November 2016

One such myth, President Higgins has argued, is that of uncritical reliance on rational markets and infinite growth. In this world view, we live in an ongoing competition between individuals, in an insatiable search for more goods, often at the expense of our social and natural environments. In many of his speeches, the President has called for a greater role for universities and other places of learning to stimulate critical and independent thinking, just as the arts can provide spaces where alternative ways of thinking can flourish. In society, creativity needs to be valued, and given space for its transformative capacity for peace, inclusion and the development of democracy.

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Presenting Robbie Keane with his 146th International Cap, 2016

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Sport President Higgins has always had a special interest in sport. The President has noted on many occasions that not only is sport a celebration of skills, endurance and athleticism, but it is also a fundamental ingredient of a successful society. “Sport, in so many ways, mirrors those qualities which are so important for good citizenship and the creation of adequately functioning societies. To be a good sportswoman or sportsman requires dedication, self-discipline, teamwork and the ability to persevere in the face of adversity. It is through partaking in sporting activities that many young children begin to learn how to participate in a society where circumstances and events will lead to their sometimes being triumphant winners in life, and just as important, sometimes gracious losers.” The President has emphasised that we must celebrate the achievements of our sporting heroes, for the feats themselves, but also for the importance they have in providing role models for young people. Not all those who partake in sport will go on to achieve glory on the playing fields, but they will all acquire skills that will assist them in other areas of life, including business, culture, public service and education. Similarly, the President has argued that so many of our sporting successes depend not only on the undoubted skills and talents of the sportswomen and men themselves, but also on the countless volunteers – the coaches, the support staff, the referees, the cleaners and the groundsmen – that made their achievements possible. In 2018, the President attended 152 major sports events and hosted several sports related events at Áras an Uachtaráin, in addition to attending several League of Ireland matches.

Welcoming Paralympic Athlete Mark Rohan to Áras an Uachtaráin, 2012

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THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW 2011 - 2018

Horses There is a tradition in the Irish National Stud that a horse is assigned to run in the Presidential colours - a tradition restored by President Higgins at the request of the National Stud. Most recently, the horse running in the Presidential colours was Aimhirgin Lass, and currently it is Spioraid. The President provided the names for these horses, as part of his commitment to the promotion of the Irish language.

The President has emphasised that we must celebrate the achievements of our sporting heroes, for the feats themselves, but also for the importance they have in providing role models for young people.


World silver medal winning Irish hockey team, 2018

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THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW 2011 - 2018


Ambassadors for Irish craft and design President Higgins and Sabina Higgins have long been strong supporters of Irish design and fashion, opting to showcase Irish designers at home and abroad. As Head of State, President Higgins is also keen to support artists and designers, and to celebrate their contribution to Irish society. The President has hosted many events at Áras an Uachtaráin for craftspeople and designers, and at many of the hundreds of events he has hosted at Áras an Uachtaráin he has invited musicians to perform for the guests. The President presents visiting Heads of State with gifts by Irish designers and artists, and at State Dinners at Áras an Uachtaráin Irish musicians perform for the visitors and their guests. When the President travels abroad on State Visits, Culture Ireland ensures that a range of emerging and established Irish artists are invited to showcase their talents to the host country.

In the Irish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, with Tessa Giblin and Jesse Jones, 2017

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THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW 2011 - 2018

With Irish designers during the State Visit to the UK, 2014


THE 'CENTENARIAN BOUNTY' The tradition by which people who have reached their 100th birthday receive a special message from the President of Ireland, wishing them a happy birthday and congratulating them, was started in 1940 by President Douglas Hyde. The letter of congratulations from the President is accompanied by an award of €2,540. The scheme, often referred to as “the Centenarian Bounty”, is open to people living in Ireland who have reached 100 years, as well as to Irish citizens born on the island of Ireland who have reached 100 years and who are living outside of the State. Since his inauguration in 2011, the President has sent such a message to 2,452 people. YEAR TOTAL 2018 359 2017     412 2016                      417  2015                         404                 2014                         407                    2013                         424                   2012                         326                   *2011 64

Female 292 357 353 346    343 363 279 57

Male 67 55 64 58 64 61 47 7

* November - December 2011

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THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW 2011 - 2018


FINANCES AND GOVERNANCE The Office of President was established by the Constitution. Further details of the role of the President, and the allowances which apply to the role, are set out in the Presidential Establishment Act 1938.

Voted Expenditure

The audited accounts show that expenditure has come in under budget (by approximately 10%) in each of the last seven years.

The budget for the Office of the President is set by the Houses of the Oireachtas. The budget is agreed on an annual basis under Vote 1, and is to be used “for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Secretary General to the President, for certain other expenses of the President’s Establishment and for certain grants.”

Staffing levels, and salaries of every member of the President’s staff, are set according to standard civil service pay scales and arrangements. During his Presidency, Michael D. Higgins has enhanced transparency by publishing details of expenditure by the Office of the President on the Áras an Uachtaráin website, www.president.ie

The Appropriation Account, independently audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) and published every year, provides details of the costs of running the President’s Office. This audit is published on the C&AG website and includes the amounts approved by the Houses of the Oireachtas to support the work of Áras an Uachtaráin.

In 2017, the direct costs of the Office of the Presidency were €3.6 million. Of this, €1.67 million (46%) covers staff costs (27 staff on payroll in Áras an Uachtaráin). Another €1.07 million (30%) was spent on the ‘Centenarian Bounty’, paid to Irish citizens at home and abroad who reach the age of 100 years.

The Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General performs its audit under the authority conferred by the Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993 and in accordance with applicable International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) and accounting rules and procedures laid down by the Minister for Finance.

The Internal Audit function for the President’s Establishment is provided by the Department of An Taoiseach. An audit committee provides oversight for expenditure and governance of Vote 1.

In € 1,000's 2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Salaries and allowances

1,622

1,626

1,644

1,664

1,677

1,666

Travel and subsistence

128

102

198

194

150

240

Training and Development ICT investment

154

136

135

122

302

391

Post and Communications

86

83

78

81

90

114

Office Machinery and supplies

121

94

147

150

293

210

Centenarian Bounty

954

1,065

1,073

1,087

1,096

1,071

Appropriations-in-aid

-104

-123

-94

-100

-84

-83

TOTAL

2,961

2,982

3,181

3,198

3,524

3,609

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THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW 2011 - 2018


Allied Services The Office of the President is supported by a number of Government Departments and State Agencies. The Defence Forces and An Garda Síochána provide security and transport for the President and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade organise the President’s foreign travel as well as assisting in engagement with the Diplomatic Corps and representatives of foreign states. The Office of Public Works (OPW) provides catering and cleaning staff, as well as staff to maintain the grounds and the listed buildings at Áras an Uachtaráin. The provision of these allied services are matters for the relevant Departments and agencies. In € 1,000 2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

4,448

4,604

4,546

4,748

4,658

5,039

2017 breakdown for illustrative purposes Departments and State bodies who provide support to the Office of the President

Office of Public Works

An Garda Síochána

Costs for 2017 (€)

Purpose

800,000

OPW staff costs

1,283,000

Property maintenance

182,000

Electricity and gas

197,000

Transport costs: drivers, fuel and maintenance Defence Forces personnel attached to Áras an Uachtaráin Costs associated with Presidential travel abroad 1938 Allowance

428,000

Department of Defence Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

667,000 894,000

Central Fund

Pensions for former Presidents President’s salary

Office of the Minister for Finance

20,000

Superannuation and Retired Allowances

564,000

National Shared Services Office

4,000

TOTAL

5,039,000

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THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW 2011 - 2018


1938 Allowance The presidential allowance of €317,000 a year exists to support the President in the independent performance of his or her duties. The allowance has been in existence since 1938, under the terms of the Presidential Establishment Act 1938, and has been available to every President over the last 80 years. The allowance composes less than 4% of the overall costs of the Presidency. The current level of the allowance was set in 1998 and it has been used since then to facilitate the opening up of Áras an Uachtaráin to increasing numbers of visitors from all parts of Ireland and abroad. It has been used to cover the costs of the 1,584 separate in-house events (see page 38) which took place at Áras an Uachtaráin during his first term, including State Dinners for visiting Heads of State and the hundreds of events hosted by the President each year – many of which have been described in this report. In total, Áras an Uachtaráin has welcomed some 140,000 people over the past seven years, or approximately 20,000 each year. An underspend of €238,443 will be returned to the Exchequer by the end of this year. This is a cumulative underspend from the 2011-2018 Presidency. 2012 (1)

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018 (2)

€164,873.59

€138,690.58

€133,429.45

€137,947.52

€152,298.62

€141,560.32

€125,589.83

€96,492.81

€71,603.90

€81,080.13

€98,644.12

€98,124.50

€81,979.08

€73,682.70

€40,381.75

€16,638.42

€24,470.18

€15,798.89

€19,395.49

€27,872.16

€7,701.79

€301,748.15

€226,932.90

€238,979.76

€252,390.53

€269,818.61

€251,411.56

€206,974.32

€20,940.84

€21,135.47

€77,440.62

€18,430.40

€13,102.27

€23,186.75

€12,492.85

€4,288.08

€7,242.53

€5,772.26

€6,793.32

€4,577.79

€6,233.21

€4,884.58

In-house Events 1. Food & Beverages 2. Hospitality & Entertaining (3) 3. Other (4) Sub-total Representing Ireland Abroad Books, research and stationery Total Spend

€326,977.07 €255,310.90 €322,192.64 €277,614.25 €287,498.67 €280,831.52 €224,351.30

Total Received

€361,522.01

€317,433.96

€317,433.96

€317,433.96

€317,433.96

€317,433.96

€264,528.30

Surplus

€34,544.94

€62,123.06

€-4,758.68

€39,819.71

€29,935.29

€36,602.44

€40,176.55

Accumulated Surplus

€34,544.94

€96,668.00

€91,909.32 €131,729.03 €161,664.32 €198,266.76 €238,443.31

(1)

For the period 11 November 2011 – 31 December 2012

( 2)

For period 1 January 2018 - 31 October 2018

()

Entertainers’ fees and related fees

( 4)

Transport, gifts and related costs

3

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THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW 2011 - 2018


The 1938 Allowance has been used to help meet the costs of the following in-house events in the 2011-2018 period: 6

Incoming State Visits

44

Appointment ceremonies

64

Credential ceremonies

52

Themed Garden Parties

114

Receptions

209

Official lunches/dinners

33

Article 28 meetings with An Taoiseach

22

Afternoon Tea receptions for active citizens groups

332

Group Tours of Áras an Uachtaráin

708

Courtesy Calls

1,584

Total number of in-house events

per annum

20,000

Approximate number of guests catered for at Áras an Uachtaráin, 2011-2018

140,000

Estimated number of visitors received at Áras an Uachtaráin

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THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW 2011 - 2018


TIMELINE 2011

Inauguration of President Michael D. Higgins 11th November, 2011

2012

Live Link to Defence Forces in Lebanon 12th December, 2011

First 'Article 28' meeting between President Higgins and Taoiseach Enda Kenny. 13th January, 2012

Launch of the Presidency Seminar "Being Young and Irish" 25th May, 2012 39

THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW 2011 - 2018


2013

Glaoch - The President's Call 17th May, 2013

President Higgins addresses the European Parliament 17th April, 2013

75th Anniversary of the Presidency 25th June, 2013

2014 President Higgins attends the funeral of Nelson Mandela 15th December, 2013

State Visit to the UK 25th June, 2014 40

THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW 2011 - 2018


2014

President announces nationwide Ethics Initiative 19th April, 2014

President Higgins visits Ethiopia, Malawi and South Africa 1st November, 2014

State Visit to China 7th December, 2014 2015

President Higgins addresses the Council of Europe, Strasbourg 27th January, 2015

President Higgins delivers the Edward Phelan Lecture 2015 26th February, 2015 41

THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW 2011 - 2018


2015

Official Visit to the US 24th September, 2015 2016 State Visit to Portugal 8th December, 2015

President attends an event for the relatives of those who took part in the events of 1916 26th March 2016

President Higgins lays a wreath for those who died during the events of 1916 27th March, 2016

President attends the World Humanitarian Summit, Istanbul 24th May, 2016 42

THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW 2011 - 2018


2016

State Visit of H.E. Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus 18th October, 2016 2017 State Visit to Vietnam 6th November, 2016

Official Visit to Columbia 11th February 2017

State Visit to Cuba 15th February, 2017

President Higgins appoints Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD 14th June, 2017 43

THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW 2011 - 2018


2017

State Visit to Australia 4th October, 2017

2018 State Visit to New Zealand 24th November, 2017

President Higgins addresses the UN General Assembly 24th April 2018

President Higgins hosts a reception in honour of the Irish Rugby Team's Grand Slam Victory 2nd May, 2018

President Higgins hosts a special reception for women who worked in the Magdalen Laundries 5th June, 2018 44

THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW 2011 - 2018


2018

President and Sabina receive His Holiness Pope Francis 15th August 2018

Paying tribute to Ivan Cooper and other civil rights leaders, on the 50th anniversary of the Human Rights Movement 6 October 2018

Present Day

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THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW 2011 - 2018


ANNEX 1. State and Official Visits, 2011-2018 2015 France - January Turkey, Lebanon - April Italy - June France, United Kingdom - July United States/United Nations - September United States – October Switzerland / United Nations - November Portugal - December (State Visit)

2012 United Kingdom - February United States - April Poland - June United Kingdom - June United Kingdom - July United Kingdom - September Brazil, Chile, Argentina - October United Kingdom - November

2016 United Kingdom - April Turkey - May France, United Kingdom - June United Kingdom - October Vietnam - November (State Visit) Laos - November

2013 Italy, France - February Italy, France - March Croatia - June (State Visit) United Kingdom - July United Kingdom - September Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica - October South Africa - December

2017 Peru, Colombia - February Cuba - February (State Visit) Italy - May United Kingdom - June New Zealand, Australia - October (State Visit)

2014 United Kingdom - April (State Visit) United States, United Kingdom - May France, Belgium - August United Kingdom - October Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa - November China - December (State Visit)

2018 Greece - February (State Visit) United Kingdom - February United States / United Nations - April Italy - May Switzerland / United Nations - June Latvia - June (State Visit) Lithuania - June

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THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW


ANNEX 2. Countries visited 2011-2018 Argentina Australia Brazil Belgium Chile China Colombia Costa Rica Croatia Cuba El Salvador Ethiopia France Greece Italy Latvia

Laos Lebanon Lithuania Malawi Mexico New Zealand Peru Poland Portugal South Africa Switzerland Turkey Vietnam United Kingdom United States

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THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW


ANNEX 3. Office of the Secretary General to the President The Office of the President was established by the Constitution of Ireland (Bunreacht na hÉireann) and the Office of the Secretary General to the President was established under the Presidential Establishment Act 1938.

the President. The Secretariat is made up of civil servants, and complements the Private Office, which is made up of three President's appointees and the President's Private Secretary, who is also a civil servant.

The Office is divided into the Private Office and the Secretariat. The Secretary General heads the Secretariat and is supported in this role by a Deputy Secretary General to

There are four main divisions in the Office: Protocol, Corporate Services, Communications and Speechwriting.

Secretary General to the President

Deputy Secretary General to the President

Protocol

Speechwriting

Communications

Corporate Services

8 Staff

2 Staff

2 Staff

9 Staff

Private Office of the President President

Private Secretary

Adviser

Head of Communications

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THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW 2011 - 2018

Executive Assistant


รras an Uachtarรกin, D08E1W3 www.president.ie

@PresidentIRL

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