The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina attended the 12.15pm Mass in Sacred Heart Church today, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King. Parishioners gave a warm welcome to the newly elected President. The Head of State briefly addressed the congregation at the end of Mass, thanking all for their good wishes and stressing how at home he feels here. He spoke of his great respect for Sacred Heart Parish Priest, Fr Malachy Hallinan.
|President Michael D. Higgins with Fr Hugh Clifford, celebrant and Fr Martin Whelan, Diocesan Secretary, who acted as chaplain to the President for the Mass|
Thanks to some members of the Parish Pastoral Council, who had been looking after the tea for the First Communion children and families of Scoil Bhride for the 11am Mass, and who kindly, at very short notice, provided tea and refreshments again after the 12.15pm Mass, giving parishioners a chance to meet and greet the President after the Mass.
|Some members of the Parish Pastoral Council who organised refreshments after Mass:|
Myra Byrnes, Eleanor Costello, Moria Byrne, Maureen Trill, Matt Hurley
President Michael D and Mrs Sabina Higgins met baby Allie Reidy Callaghan, who was about to be baptised.
|President Higgins greets baby Allie Reidy Callaghan and her family just before her Baptism|
Parish Sister, Sr Catherine O'Regan is a Daughter of Charity. Mrs Sabina Higgins' sister is a member of that order.
|Sr Catherine with President Michael D. Higgins and his wife, Sabina Coyne|
This visit was a pleasant surprise for all of us at Sacred Heart. President Higgins and Sabina had already sent a bouquet of flowers to the parish immediately after his election.
|Marian Coleman, Sr Catherine, Eleanor Costello, President Michael D. Higgins, Moira Byrne,|
Bernie Scally (parish secretary), Tess Donohue
The President stood for a photograph with those who organised the refreshments.
|Matt Hurley (chairman, Parish Pastoral Council), Carmel Crawford, Marian Coleman, Sr Catherine, Eleanor Costello, President Michael D. Higgins, Moira Byrne, Maureen Trill, Bernie Scally, Sabina Coyne|