President Michael D. Higgins has declined an invitation to attend a church service in Armagh where Queen Elizabeth will be present.
The service, which is due to take place in a few weeks, is being organised by the leaders of the main Christian churches.
A spokesman for President Higgins told The Irish Times, “The President is not in a position to attend the ceremony you mention, and this has been communicated to the organisers,”.
Hoping that both political traditions in Ireland would be represented at a very high level, the organisers of the event have expressed disappointment towards Higgins’ decision.
Higgins’ spokesman didn’t provide a reason as to why he will not be attending the event but said that the President has already conveyed his good wishes to Queen Elizabeth II.
“The President has welcomed, and continues to welcome any opportunities to meet with Her Majesty and members of her family.”
The Church of Ireland along with the government declined to comment.
IMAGE – “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II” (CC BY 2.0) by Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office – “michael d higgins” (CC BY 2.0) by The Labour Party