Michael D Higgins begins official visit to Wales
President to open new exhibition on centenary of poet Dylan Thomas’s birth
President Michael D Higgins will meet the first minister of Wales Carwyn Jones and the leader of Cardiff Council Cllr Phil Bale on his two day visit.
This afternoon he will attend the Wales National Assembly (Senedd).
It is 100 years since the birth of Wales’s most famous poet who died in 1954 at the age of 39.
The President will meet with Thomas’s granddaughter Hannah Ellis and read from from the Welsh poet’s Elegy which was half-finished when he died and prophetically begins: “Too proud to die; broken and blind he died. The darkest way, and did not turn away,”
The “Dylathon” will feature 36 hours of continuous readings of his work featuring such performers as the actors Ian McKellan and Jonathan Pryce, the singer Cherys Matthews and opera singer Katherine Jenkins.
Tomorrow the President will visit the Ireland-Wales programme hosted by Swansea University. Later, he and his wife, Sabina, will attend an Irish community reception at Awen Penderyn Foyer (The Wales Millennium Centre), hosted by the Irish Ambassador Dan Mulhal.
This event will celebrate the economic, political, cultural and community links between Ireland and Wales – and provide an opportunity for the President to meet and address the Irish community in South Wales.