President Michael D. Higgins has defended his decision to decline an invitation to a ceremony marking Northern Ireland’s centenary.
The President took issue with the title of the event, which states the service will mark the centenaries of the partition of Ireland and the formation of Northern Ireland.
Higgins said he will not be revisiting his decision to not attend the event.
He then went on to deny his decision to not attend is snubbing the Queen.
“There is no question of any snub intended to anybody. I am not snubbing anyone and I am not part of anyone’s boycott of any other events in Northern Ireland,” he said.
“I wish their service well but they understand that I have the right to exercise a discretion as to what I think is appropriate for my attendance.”
Higgins continued to say that what began as an invitation to a religious ceremony soon became a political statement.
“I was also referred to as the President of the Republic of Ireland. I am the President of Ireland,” Higgins continued.
IMAGE – “President Michael D Higgins” by The Labour Party (CC BY-ND 2.0)/”Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II” by Commonwealth office (CC BY 2.0)