President Higgins replies


Post from the President

President Higgins has replied to my Open Letter and you can read his elegant response in full below.

Reply from President Higgins

Reply from President Higgins

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote that ‘If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood, and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.’ So the campaign for a residential writing centre in Ireland, that is open to all, continues. If you have any thoughts on this I would love to read them in the comments box below.

4 responses

  1. I was about to say kudos too, but Orla beat me to it. I can say Respect though. Definitely one for the grandchildren. He is such an eloquent and sensitive man, a President you’d be proud to have.

    1. Thanks Derbhile – will keep the grandchildren in mind;)

  2. First and foremost, kudos to you Margaret for your clear and eloquent letter to the President.
    It’s wonderful that you received a reply. President Higgins’ reply disappoints me. I hate to be negative in light of the positivity of your action in writing to the President in the first place, but his reply reads to me like a piece of propaganda for him and his office. Most of the letter suggests to me that he (or whoever wrote it) wasn’t fully aware that your topic is creative writing specifically, rather than literary matters generally.
    The start of the final paragraph “As President, I have no role…” is particularly disappointing to me. I realise that he probably has to point out that his office is limited in this respect. But surely he could some up with a more positive wording; for example, “I will use my office to do X, Y and Z”.
    The ending is a vague promise of “doing something”.
    I am a fan of President Higgins overall, and delighted that we have an artist in the highest office in the land. But this letter is not worthy of him or his office.
    Well done on your ongoing efforts to promote an Arvon-like institution in Ireland. Margaret. I know you have been working on this for years.

    1. Hi Orla, thank you for your honest, robust and thoughtful response. I appreciate your support. M

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