Republic of Ireland news

Michael D Higgins asks for inauguration delay to accommodate armistice events

President Michael D Higgins
Brendan Hughes

PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins has asked Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to shift the time of his inauguration ceremony to enable people to attend Armistice commemorations.

The inauguration ceremony for Mr Higgins's second term in office is scheduled for the morning of November 11, the same day of the centenary commemorations to mark the end of the First World War.

In a landslide victory, the 77-year-old poet, professor and campaigner was re-elected last week with more than 55 per cent of the vote.

The president's office said yesterday that Mr Higgins had asked the government to push back the inauguration ceremony to the evening of the 11th, rather than the morning, to accommodate those who wish to mark the 100th anniversary of the cessation of hostilities.

A spokesman said Mr Higgins was conscious of the desire of many Irish people to participate in commemoration ceremonies to remember all the Irish men and women who lost their lives during the First World War.

Meanwhile, the Royal British Legion is to open a 'field of remembrance' at Belfast City Hall on Monday with a special service at 11am.

It will feature more than 1,000 tributes from members of the public to soldiers who died during or after the First World War.

The display is one of six fields of remembrance in Northern Ireland and Britain, which will feature more than 100,000 crosses and commemorative markers each inscribed with an individuals' name.

The Belfast field of remembrance will remain open for members of the public to visit until November 18.

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