Tuesday January 17 2012 10:01 AM
MS Ireland is delighted to announce that Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, has accepted our invitation to become our patron. The President will be the sole patron of MS Ireland, succeeding Mary McAleese as the previous patron of the Society.
Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland
Ava Battles, Chief Executive of MS Ireland says President Higgins is MS Ireland’s ideal patron as he has always been an advocate for those marginalized in society.
"The President is a renowned supporter of citizenship and social justice. He has always been a supporter of the vulnerable in Society, recognizing that poverty, ethnic background, disability and other factors often prevent people from taking a full part in their community. As people with MS and their families struggle to meet the challenges MS brings into our lives, they can often be disadvantaged. We are delighted that our patron fully understands these challenges.”
On 11 November 2011, Michael D. Higgins was inaugurated as the ninth President of Ireland. 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.
Speaking at his inauguration, President Higgins said:
“These and so many other acts of kindness and indeed solidarity are reassuring signs that, despite the invasive and egotistical materialism that has so threatened the fabric of our society in recent times, we are collectively still an instinctively decent and caring people, a people who truly understand the meaning of active and inclusive citizenship and a people who appreciate the importance of the role of volunteerism in playing its part in creating a genuinely fair and equal society.”
We look forward to meeting and engaging with President Higgins in the coming months. We also want to thank former President and patron Mary McAleese for her support over the years and wish her well in her future endeavors.