News by email Donate


Michael Higgins President or Ireland Raphael Lafargue ABACAPRESS.COM..JPG header2.JPG
Raphael Lafargue ABACAPRESS.COM
Raphael Lafargue ABACAPRESS.COM
World News

Irish President defends not attending church service with Queen to mark centenary of partition of Ireland

by Cara Bentley

Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland, will not be attending a church service to mark the centenary of the partition of Ireland as he says it has been 'politicised'.

Higgins, who has been President since 2011, declined the invitation to the church service at St Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh in Northern Ireland earlier this year because the title of the service made it "inappropriate" for him to attend as head of state.

He has now said it was not "a neutral statement politically".

"I wish their service well but they understand that I have the right to exercise discretion as to what I think is appropriate," he also said.

Armagh is also the ecclesiastical capital of all of Ireland, with it being the home of Archbishops for the Catholic and Protestant Churches. The service is to "mark the centenaries of the partition of Ireland and the formation of Northern Ireland".

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the leader of the DUP in Northern Ireland said it was unfortunate that Higgins could not attend when the service's focus was hope and reconciliation. He said he hopes all politicians can proceed to mark similar events in a respectful way and called it a "step back".

Sunday Times columnist and Irish write Justine McCarthy wrote: "It has been argued that the Armagh event is designed to “mark” partition rather than to commemorate it, but the action of marking can be interpreted as a form of authentication and for the president to do that would be utterly unacceptable."





A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email