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President Higgins begins official British visit

President Higgins
President Michael D. Higgins attended Irish play The Night Alive last night in London

PRESIDENT of Ireland Michael D. Higgins begins his official trip to Britain this morning with a visit to Haringey Irish Cultural and Community Centre in London.

The President flew into the English capital last night for the first of two visits to Britain which will see him attend events in London and Edinburgh.

Last night he attended Dublin playwright Conor McPherson’s play The Night Alive at the Donmar Warehouse Theatre in Covent Garden in a non-official capacity.

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This morning he will m’eet and address members of the Irish community in Haringey as well as local public representatives.

Those in attendance will include representatives of the London GAA team set to compete in the Connacht Football Final this Sunday.

In the afternoon the President will be presented with an Honorary Doctorate at Middlesex University, before returning to Dublin later in the evening.

He will return to Britain on Saturday for his second British visit of the week by travelling to Iona in Scotland, accompanied by his wife Sabina Higgins.

President Higgins
President Michael D. Higgins with, from left, Michael McElhatton, Ciarán Hinds, Jim Norton, Caoilfhionn Dunne and Brian Gleeson,

They will celebrate the 1450th anniversary of the arrival of St Colmcille on Iona with the Inter Faith Community.

The Isle of Iona on Scotland is long associated with St Columba/Colmcille, and it is here that the President will deliver a keynote address entitled Of Migrants and Migration.

The President and his wife will also attend an ecumenical service at the Medieval Abbey Church and visit St Oran’s Graveyard which includes the grave of Macbeth, King of Scotland who died in 1057.

Additionally, the President will visit the grave of former leader of the Labour Party – John Smith – who died in 1994.

He will be met and accompanied by Ireland’s out-going Ambassador to Britain, Mr Bobby McDonagh, on both visits.

The President and his wife return to Dublin on Sunday.

Stay on the Irish Post for report and images of the President’s visit later today.

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Nemesha Balasundaram
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Nemesha Balasundaram is a Reporter with The Irish Post. Follow her on Twitter @nemeshaB

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