Speaking at his first official foreign engagement since being installed as President of Ireland; Michael D. Higgins has has described London’s Olympic stadium as an enormously impressive and beautiful architectural achievement. He was speaking during the second day of his official tour of London.
Today the President was shown around the complex by the chairman of the Games organising committee, Seb Coe, who said preparation for this summer’s games was on track but with still a lot of work to be done. One of the themes of President Higgins’ first overseas visit has been the role of the diaspora in the economic revival of the country. Today he will hold meetings to explore how members of the Irish community there may be of assistance.
In an interview, he said every kind of experience in every generation of the Irish abroad should be explored. Asked if he believed the Irish abroad should be able to vote in elections at home, he said the matter should be brought up when the forthcoming Constitutional convention gets under way.
President Higgins presented Lord Coe with a special commemorative plaque acknowledging the fact that the two-time Olympic gold medallist’s (1980 and 1984 – 1,500m) great grandparents came from Co. Kilkenny. This should hold Uachtaráin na hÉireann in good stead as it should guarantee him a few tickets for this summer’s Games which have proven more difficult than hen’s teeth to come across.