President has solid mandate


A chara, – I can go along with the general trust of Breda O’Brien’s article “Targeting Travellers never harmed a politician yet” (Opinion & Analysis, November 3rd). I am also a product of the era and rural setting she mentions. I would concur with her view that the travelling and settled communities “coexisted in wary but mostly mutually tolerant way”.

However, she then goes on to have a swipe at Michael D Higgins’s candidacy.

This seems quite strange in the context of the topic she was discussing. Mr Higgins has, throughout his political career, championed and advocated for the marginalised, including Travellers.

She claims, without citing any evidence, that he “did the office no favours by running again”. Her justification seems to be based on his “dubious distinction of being the only presidential candidate who has won two elections on the strength of being the least-bad candidate”.

Even that on its own could suggest adequate justification.

However, a far more substantial qualification is indicated in the fact that in 2011 he left his nearest rival trailing by 11 percentage points and in the recent election that rose to a massive 32 percentage points.

Contrary to your columnist’s view, I believe Michael D Higgins did the country and its people, at home and abroad, a monumental service by running and getting re-elected. – Is mise,