The Irish president has defended his decision to decline an invitation to a religious service to mark the centenary of Northern Ireland attended by the Queen.
Michael de Higgins will not attend the event because his title is “politicized” and his participation would be inappropriate.
The title of the event indicates that the 100th anniversary of the service score will be marked Ireland And the formation of Northern Ireland.
Mr Higgins is currently in Rome for a meeting with the pope, and has said he will not change his decision to stay out of the event in Armageddon next month.
“We’re out of the stadium now and I think it’s unfortunate,” he told The Irish Times.
“There is no question of a snob intended for anyone. I do not deny anyone, I am not part of the boycott of any other event in Northern Ireland.
Congratulations on their service, but they understand that I have the right to exercise discretion over what I think is appropriate for my participation. “
He said his problem with the title of the service, such as “church service”, was that it turned out to be a political statement.
“I was also called the President of the Republic of Ireland. I am the President of Ireland.”
Trade union activists questioned the decision, asking DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson if it was politically motivated because of the advice of the Irish government.
The Dublin government has denied any involvement in the movement.
Secretary of State Simon Coweny said the decision was made only by Mr. Higgins and that the Irish government had not given him clear advice on the invitation to the Armag event.
“My department is in constant consultation with Aras Ann Uttern (the President’s official residence) and the President’s team on a number of issues. We have not given clear advice to the President regarding this particular incident,” he declared.
“I think it is clear from the statements made by the President on this issue that he made his own decision.”
Commenting on the DUP’s criticism, Higgins said: “It simply came to our notice then. I have been to Northern Ireland to attend events.
There was often not much traffic from the DUP people who criticize me now. “
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