08 Aug 2022

"True republican values": Kildare Senator defends President Higgins' rejection of Northern Ireland event invitation

Senator Fiona O' Loughlin, Fianna Fáil

Senator Fiona O' Loughlin, Fianna Fáil

A Senator from Kildare has defended President Michael D Higgins' decision to turn down an invitation to an event in Northern Ireland.

President Michael D Higgins has attracted controversy from Unionists for declining an invitation to a religious service in Northern Ireland next month, on the grounds that it is political in nature and commemorates the "centenary of the partition of Ireland."

In a post on her official Twitter account, Senator Fiona O' Loughlin said: "Listening to John Bruton on Claire Byrne Live.
I was never clearer as to why I’m in Fianna Fáil and not FG (Fine Gael)."

She added: "President Higgins is absolutely correct in not accepting invitation to commemorate partition on the island of Ireland," including the hashtag #truerepublicanvalues at the end of her post.

John Bruton, who is a former FG Taoiseach, also echoed similar comments on air that the President should reverse his decision to BBC Radio Ulster, and claimed that the President appeared not to have sought the advice of the Government "as he is obliged to do under the Constitution."

Earlier this week, Fiona O' Loughlin notably made headlines when she hit out at a controversial Irish Mail on Sunday article criticising her dress sense, as well as the dress sense of other members of Fianna Fáil at last week's party outing in Cavan.

Another prominent politician, Minister for Defence and Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, has also recently claimed that his Department "didn’t give any clear advice" to President Higgins about an invitation to the event.

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