Compassion and Community
I had the pleasure of meeting President Michael D Higgins while at an award ceremony in Áras an Uachtaráin in April 2019. He, along with Sabina Higgins, presented artist Pauline Bewick with the Kerry Association in Dublin Arts Award. I have been a proud member of The Kerry Association for approximately 10 years now.
In the background are two of my local neighbours Kitty Kelly and her daughter Leonie from Main St Tarbert.
What impresses me most about The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins is his health and human rights approach to addiction in our community. His support for all whose approaches are helping society’s most vulnerable people is there for all to see.
Back in 2015 by attacking stigmatisation and defending dignity the President upheld his reputation as a kind and insightful political figure. His support for those most in need of help has been unwavering throughout his presidency.
An extract from a speech he made in 2015 reflects this beautifully:
“Today, there can be very few people in Ireland whose lives have not been touched by addiction in some form or other. It is estimated that for every individual directly affected by addiction, at least eight other people’s lives are affected, including partners, children, parents, grandparents, siblings, colleagues and friends.
The abuse of drugs and other substances continues to contribute to a wide range of health, social and behavioural problems across a wide spectrum of Irish society but we are, thankfully, moving towards working with those affected by drugs misuse with the respect and compassion they deserve.”
(Croke Park Conference Centre, 12th November 2015)