The role of President

Comments about the Israel-Hamas conflict

Sir, – I have noted the criticism levelled at President Michael D Higgins (Letters, October 24th) over his comments on the Israel-Hamas conflict. It would seem his comments are fully in alignment with the views expressed by the Government and the vast majority of people.

One can only imagine the cacophony that would have arisen had he expressed views contrary to either Government policy or the wishes of the majority.

I did not expect, nor wish, Mr Higgins to accept, on taking up office, the wall of silence supposedly erected by the Constitution to surround the Áras. – Yours, etc,



Skerries, Co Dublin.

Sir, – Siobhán Conlon, in her defence of President Michael D Higgins, brings up a familiar tactic many politicians follow when expressing political views and actions, claiming that what they are doing or discussing is “the will of the people” (Letters, October 21st). In this case, the claim is the President is speaking for the Irish people.

He doubled down on this on Saturday, claiming he was elected “to speak on behalf of the Irish people”.

The President does not speak for the Irish people when he expresses his particular political beliefs and ideologies; he speaks for some of the Irish people. And therein lies the problem. He holds the office of ceremonial position where he is indeed supposed to represent the Irish people in an apolitical manner.

By continuously voicing his particular political views, he alienates many Irish people who disagree with his politics and views.

The place for partisan politics and discussing different political views and philosophies is the Dáil. It is not in the Áras. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 18.