‘More than a monarch’: World leaders react to the death of Queen Elizabeth II


Michael Higgins, president of the Republic of Ireland, giving a speech in July 2022.
Michael Higgins, president of the Republic of Ireland, giving a speech in July 2022. | Screengrab: YouTube/Áras an Uachtaráin

President Michael D. Higgins of the Republic of Ireland released a statement expressing his “deep personal sadness” over learning about the death of Elizabeth II.

“May I offer my deepest condolences to the British people and to the members of the Commonwealth on the loss of a unique, committed and deeply respected Head of State,” he said.

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Higgins spoke fondly about “the exceptional hospitality” given to him and his wife when they visited the queen in 2014, as well as when she made an official state visit to Ireland in 2011.

“Queen Elizabeth’s Visit was pivotal in laying a firm basis for an authentic and ethical understanding between our countries. During those memorable few days 11 years ago, the Queen did not shy away from the shadows of the past,” Higgins continued, alluding to England’s history of occupation of Ireland.

“Her moving words and gestures of respect were deeply appreciated and admired by the people of Ireland and set out a new, forward looking relationship between our nations — one of respect, close partnership and sincere friendship.”

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