Northern Ireland news

President Higgins confirms intention to host Statistical and Social Inquiry Association when centenary service is taking place

President Michael D Higgins will host the Statistical and Social Inquiry Association of Ireland at Aras next Thursday. Picture by Julien Behal

PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins will honour his previously arranged diary commitment when the centenary church service takes place in Armagh next week, his office has confirmed.

Last month when outlining his reasons for not attending the 'Service of Reflection and Hope' to mark the centenary and partition of Ireland and the formation of Northern Ireland', the president said he had already agreed to host the Statistical and Social Inquiry Association of Ireland at Aras an Uachtaráin in Dublin.

The president's office has confirmed to The Irish News that he intends to fulfil that commitment.

The ceremony in Armagh on October 21 is being arranged by leaders of the four main churches. The organisers of the service have indicated that Queen Elizabeth is expected to attend.

However, protocols mean there will be no official confirmation of the British head of state's plan to attend beforehand.

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Northern Ireland news