Michael D. Higgins favored to win Irish presidency - AP

Oct 28, 2011 Full story: Guardian Unlimited 44

Human rights activist and poet Michael D. Higgins appeared on course Friday to be elected Ireland's president after his main rival suffered a last-minute collapse in support, early unofficial returns and an opinion poll showed.

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Antaine O Labhradha

Belfast, UK

#1 Oct 28, 2011
Michael D is a bumbling old fool, but you can't really dislike him. Although there was no chance, first time out, of Sinn Féin winning the Presidency, McGuinness would have made for a much more noticeable and a much more effective President than Michael D.
McGuinness is articulate, intelligent, proudly pro-Irish in a way that would lead to actual improvements in Ireland, such as from helping, as permitted by the Constitution, to attract investment and in generally raising the profile of the Irish state and the Irish nation in the eyes of the international community of nations.
Michael D will slumber quietly in post until he dies, loses the next election or has to stand aside after two terms.
Whatever your personal opinion of Sinn Féin, there is no argument that it is the best organised, managed and run political movement in Ireland. It is involved in a process of becoming assimilated into the political psyche of the 26 counties, of 'normalising' itself as a constitutional republican party which will attract a growing level of support from the Irish people as time moves on. It is successfully deflecting the criticism that the establishment, in its Pavlovian responses, was always going to level at it and it is bedding down respectably as a valid alternative to the tired game of ping pong between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.
The reason for this? Sinn Féin made a series of commitments to the Irish people in the Good Friday Agreement. And guess what? They did exactly what they said they would do. Arms - gone. IRA - gone. War - over.
Peaceful democratic politics - fully engaged.
Many laud John Hume as the author of the GFA. Hume is a good man. But Sinn Féin did all the work needed to bring peace to Ireland, not John Hume.
It is the only political party in Ireland in living memory that made promises and then unquestionably delivered on them.
This is not a defeat for Sinn Féin; it has (probably) increased its percentage of the popular vote. It will soon be fully embedded in the political life of the 26 counties, bringing a national perspective to our politics that has not been seen since before partition. The north will no longer continue to be that ignored, rarely thought of backwater at the top of the map. It will grow closer to the rest of the nation until peaceful and stable reunification is brought about. That is Sinn Féin's raison d'etre. It has the skill, the dedication, the tenacity and the people to continue the struggle until the goal of 1916 is achieved.
Frank

Ireland

#2 Oct 28, 2011
Mate there is no eire.That is just for the pub talk. We are just a state of european union and nothing more.That big flag on the GPO is just window dressing.

We even had a presidential candidate and ex fianna failers talking about rejoining the commonwealth so if that happens we dont even need the president because qe2 will do the job for us...now I am confused I dont know whether I need to hoist the tricolor/union jack/or blue flag with the stars?
humberman99

Faulkland, UK

#4 Oct 29, 2011
the bench mark of the pol pots is a young lady called Mary Travers murdered coming from mass. End of story.
allymac

Glasgow, UK

#5 Oct 29, 2011
Good to see most people in Eire rejecting the terrorist McGUINNESS.
humberman99

Faulkland, UK

#6 Oct 29, 2011
agree, good for the citizens of the Irish Republic. Shows maturity. They have rejected the pol pot thugs. That is the way to deal with them. No martyrs, just the ballot box, and the truth, as personified by the murder of Mary Travers.

Since: Nov 10

Dublin

#7 Nov 2, 2011
allymac wrote:
Good to see most people in Eire rejecting the terrorist McGUINNESS.
He's gone back up north to be YOUR leader!!!

:)
humberman99

Faulkland, UK

#8 Nov 2, 2011
dubbadub, have to admit you have a point! what can we say? come back adolf, all is forgiven, what do you suggest?

Since: Nov 10

Dublin

#9 Nov 2, 2011
humberman99 wrote:
dubbadub, have to admit you have a point! what can we say? come back adolf, all is forgiven, what do you suggest?
:)
No mercy

Cannock, UK

#11 Nov 5, 2011
humberman99 wrote:
the bench mark of the pol pots is a young lady called Mary Travers murdered coming from mass. End of story.
Under any convention, Sinn Fein are guilty of the most despicable war crimes.
Hypocrisy alert

Ireland

#12 Nov 6, 2011
No mercy wrote:
<quoted text>
Under any convention, Sinn Fein are guilty of the most despicable war crimes.
Agreed as are the collective supporters of loyalist terrorist murderers who commited equally and in possibly some cases worse atrocities including bombings in the south of Ireland along with those loyalists lodged who created a framework of discrimination and the underclass caste system in the north that incited such violence.
humberman99

Brigg, UK

#13 Nov 6, 2011
would someone please identify this "underclass "system as referred to.
No mercy

Cannock, UK

#14 Nov 7, 2011
Hypocrisy alert wrote:
<quoted text>
Agreed as are the collective supporters of loyalist terrorist murderers who commited equally and in possibly some cases worse atrocities including bombings in the south of Ireland along with those loyalists lodged who created a framework of discrimination and the underclass caste system in the north that incited such violence.
Forever the victim eh?
But I must ask... Had the Irish raids along the Welsh coast been successful many centuries ago, would we be having this conversation?
humberman99

Brigg, UK

#15 Nov 7, 2011
famine ballad singers will never stop whingeing.
Donker

Shanghai, China

#16 Nov 17, 2011
humberman99 wrote:
would someone please identify this "underclass "system as referred to.
Come on Humber, everyone knows that catholics were treated like crap and discriminated against in NI back in the day. You really aren't going to ask me for examples are you? I am no fan of the catholic church by the way and reckon that the world would be a far, far better place if all of Europe had quit them back in the reformation but unfortunatly they abound. Attempting to repress them or discriminate against them will only make matters worse. I mean look what happened in the US with African Americans (no offence to AA's) Today catholics can in no way be considered an underclass in NI as they are doing very well.
Donker

Shanghai, China

#17 Nov 17, 2011
No mercy wrote:
<quoted text>
Under any convention, Sinn Fein are guilty of the most despicable war crimes.
Forever the victim eh?

I don't support Sinn Fein and never did but I made the above comment to show you that you are not looking at both sides of the story. Yes some nationalists did nasty horrible things but so did some loyalists. I don't understand why you are content to point the finger at one side only. It is thinking like that that caused the misery, heartbreak and violence to happen in NI for 30 years. Try to see it from the others perspective as well as your own.
humberman99

Bridport, UK

#18 Nov 18, 2011
Donker, you obviously mean well, and do have some grasp of the situation and no side is innocent but the pol pots are now in government, the uda,uvf etc are not. That is one difference.
No mercy

Cannock, UK

#19 Nov 18, 2011
Donker wrote:
<quoted text>
Forever the victim eh?
I don't support Sinn Fein and never did but I made the above comment to show you that you are not looking at both sides of the story. Yes some nationalists did nasty horrible things but so did some loyalists. I don't understand why you are content to point the finger at one side only. It is thinking like that that caused the misery, heartbreak and violence to happen in NI for 30 years. Try to see it from the others perspective as well as your own.
My apologies. I really ought to take more time to process what someone is actually saying and not be so quick to jump to conculsions. It's a bad habit I've been getting into in recent years (*note to self*, must do better)

I do see things from both sides.
I'm from Northern Ireland, I grew up there and after a long time living abroad I have returned to live there to eventually retire. I'm from a Protestant, Unionist background but I've always been proud to say that whilst I was growing up the vast majority of my friends were from a Catholic, Nationalist background, some of whom are still my good friends to this day by the way. Sadly though, even before reaching my sixteenth birthday, I had already buried four of my good, Catholic friends. Two of them were slaughtered by the IRA and the other two by Loyalists, so it's safe for me to say that from an early age I recieved the most severe education in seeing things from both sides.
For some, there was the romance of "The Cause", but for most there was just the brutal reality.
humberman99

Bridport, UK

#21 Nov 18, 2011
just to show the imbalance that exists, the head of the Republic of Ireland accolades the widow of finucane, the family of Mary Travers are ignored.Multiply this by thousands. The soft chattering classes who know their wines and which way to handle a knife and fork are stumbling over their feet to sympethise with the pol pots, who have only changed tactics, do not forget. The brits are creating a distance between Ulster and themselves but they always have done, except in world wars when paddies fighting men become useful, it is distastful but a fact. Now if we were in Africa they would have gone long ago but we are only 14 miles away so that is out. Next thing is to denegrade the forces of the Crown, going back to a fine force The Royal Irish Constabulary(mainly RC) the "B" specials, UDR, and the Royal Ulster Constabulary(maily Prot) so religion or loyalty does not count.The Queen,who all those men were loyal to, has no say in the matter. But, the funny thing is the Ulster Folk are loyal to the Crown and always will be, so creating a problem for the Brits, so they do what they do best, promote the wrong doers into power. In the forces quite often a troublesome soldier is promoted and usually solves a problem by doing this, so this is what the Ulster Folk will have to bear until the rubicon is crossed. Now,this was tried recently over the insignia for the prisons system and was only exposed by a question posed by the TUV, but not by either the Unionist Party or the DUP, why was this? Either they do not care or they were asleep so the old saying of the price of democracy is eternal vigilance rings very true.The bhoys are still about.Is it time to invite the North Koreans in? At least we will have our own "reds" and not the pol pots.
Donker

Shanghai, China

#22 Nov 19, 2011
No mercy wrote:
<quoted text>
My apologies. I really ought to take more time to process what someone is actually saying and not be so quick to jump to conculsions. It's a bad habit I've been getting into in recent years (*note to self*, must do better)
I do see things from both sides.
I'm from Northern Ireland, I grew up there and after a long time living abroad I have returned to live there to eventually retire. I'm from a Protestant, Unionist background but I've always been proud to say that whilst I was growing up the vast majority of my friends were from a Catholic, Nationalist background, some of whom are still my good friends to this day by the way. Sadly though, even before reaching my sixteenth birthday, I had already buried four of my good, Catholic friends. Two of them were slaughtered by the IRA and the other two by Loyalists, so it's safe for me to say that from an early age I recieved the most severe education in seeing things from both sides.
For some, there was the romance of "The Cause", but for most there was just the brutal reality.
Fair enough, it is a hot topic. I am saddened to hear about your four friends dying in such circumstances. We should never forget such horror so it cannot and will not be allowed to return and at the same time live in the present with an eye on the future with a positive outlook.
humberman99

Bridport, UK

#23 Nov 19, 2011
Donker, how does one discern between a genuine positive outlook and a false positive outlook?

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