Clans of Ireland – Finte na hÉireann are proud to have the His Excellency Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland as Patron of our organisation.
A passionate political voice, a poet and writer, academic and statesman, human rights advocate, promoter of inclusive citizenship and champion of creativity within Irish society, Michael D. Higgins has previously served at almost every level of public life in Ireland, including as Ireland’s first Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht.
Michael D. Higgins was born on 18 April 1941 in Limerick city and was raised in County Clare. He was a factory worker and a clerk before becoming the first in his family to access higher education. He studied at the University College Galway, the University of Manchester and Indiana University. Michael D. Higgins is married to Sabina Higgins, and they have four children.
Clans of Ireland – Finte na hÉireann has enjoyed a close relationship with our Patron and we ensure that the office of the President is kept up-to-date with the activities of our organisation.
In May 2012 President Higgins received members of the board of Clans of Ireland at Áras an Uachtaráin. During the meeting the President accepted his insignia as Patron and member of the Order of Clans of Ireland. The President praised the work of Clans of Ireland.
In May 2015, whilst celebrating Clans of Ireland’s 25 th Anniversary as a non-profit entity, the Board of Clans of Ireland and representatives of Irish clans, were invited to Áras an Uachtaráin to meet President Higgins. In his address to the President, Gearóid Ó Ceallaigh, Cathaoirleach ~ Chairperson of Clans of Ireland expressed his hope that, with President Higgin’s continuing patronage, Clans of Ireland will continue to foster even greater links between the Irish at home and the diaspora. AnCathaoirleach presented the President and Patron with a copy of a personal family tree of the Higgins family of Ballycar, Co. Clare.
In July 2018, members of the Board of Clans of Ireland were invited to a concert, held at Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of the President. The then Cathaoirleach Dr Joseph Mannion and Board member Sorcha Ní Dhomhnaill attended as our representatives. The event was hosted by the President and his wife Sabina Higgins to pay tribute to the valuable work done by civil society organisations in Ireland.
On a glorious summer’s evening, the event began with an extensive tour of Áras an Uachtaráin, both house and gardens. Everyone was exclusively welcomed by the President and his wife Sabina, who were happy to leisurely engage in conversation as well as pose for photographs, with all their guests.