I want to congratulate Michael D. Higgins on his very strong performance in the Presidential election which will see him elected the 9th President of Ireland.  Today is an exceptionally proud day for Michael D, his wife Sabina and their family. 

I have known Michael D. Higgins for many years and he will make an excellent President and ambassador for Ireland.  I want to wish him well in his Presidency for which he will have my support and that of the Fianna Fáil community. 

As Minister for Foreign Affairs I worked closely with Michael D. Higgins who was Labour’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson.  His command of global issues and commitment to human rights was significant and I have no doubt human rights and humanitarian issues will be a significant part of his presidency.