ABOUT MICHAEL D.
A Real Republic
Born in Limerick and raised in Clare, Michael D’s journey has taken him from small farm to factory worker to teacher and into the public world to work for equality and justice. A campaigner for civil and social rights, Michael D was a leader in progressive movements for change in Irish society from equal pay to access to contraception and divorce.
The vision I offer is inclusive citizenship, in a creative society, as part of a real Republic that makes us proud to be Irish in the world.
We can not return to the same failed version of society and economy led by developers and speculators that has caused so much damage. Instead I believe we can work together to create a positive and different society – a Real Republic, where equality, dignity and participation are the benchmarks.
Inclusion and Citizenship As Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht in the 1990’s Michael D set up TG4, removed section 31 censorship, connected the Royal and Grand canals, established local arts venues from Blanchardstown to Letterkenny and turned film from an 311 million into an industry with a turnover of 3390 million last year, creating thousands of jobs. He has represented Ireland as President of the European Council of Culture Ministers, Foreign Affairs spokesperson and diplomat, receiving International Peace prizes for his work in human rights. A published writer, he loves sport and is President of Galway United FC. He is married to Sabina Higgins, a founder member of Dublin’s Focus theatre, they have one daughter and three sons.
As President I will promote a positive, inclusive vision of what it means to be a citizen in Ireland. A passionate advocate for equality, social justice and a rights-based approach to disability, I believe every citizen has a contribution to make and everyone should be treated with respect.
Creativity As President, I will promote creative communities and creative industries. Combining the best of tradition with the spark of innovation, creativity opens up possibilities from art and education to science and business. There is huge employment potential in for example games development, environmental technology, artisan foods, however, creativity is also vital in our communities and schools. As President, I will actively encourage access to art, music and self-development for every child.
Ireland in the World The President is Ireland’s face to the world and as President, I will draw on my international experience and reputation to strengthen all strands of our reputation from areas of culture to business innovation to humanitarian and peacekeeping work. I will also deepen connections to Irish emigrant networks from Britain to Canada to China – identifying new trade opportunities worldwide.
What the President can do I understand both the possibilities and constraints of the Presidency and I believe it can contribute to the social transformation we need.
My Message to You “People I have met throughout Ireland have shared both their vulnerabilities and their strengths. Everywhere, committed, generous people of all ages are working together to create change in their communities – this is the true seedbed of the transformation we need in Irish society. The many young people I talk to do not want to be part of another lost generation,they are determined to play their part in shaping a new chapter in Ireland’s future.
The Presidency has a constitutional role which requires judgement, ceremonial roles to be conducted with dignity and warmth – there is also a discretionary space which allows the president to highlight important themes. As President, I will take specific, practical measures to encourage every citizen to engage with the major review of our Constitution taking place next year and also host major Presidential seminars on key themes. The first of these will focus on young people and their vision for Ireland. I will use the Presidency to highlight our country’s many strengths, particularly on the world stage. I will also shine a light on the vulnerable and marginalised, including those in institutional care.
The President who will do us proud.
As President I will support and inspire that transformation – taking seriously the words of the oath: ‘Mo lándícheall a dhéanamh ar son leasa is fónaimh mhuintir na hÉireann.’ ‘I will dedicate my abilities to the service and welfare of the people of Ireland.’ If elected I will dedicate head and heart to working with you to build a Republic we can all feel proud of and part of. I will be a President of the people and for the people.”
Michael D. Higgins For more information and videos visit: www.michaeldhiggins.ie or telephone: 01 678 4710
The President who will do us proud.