The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, is to visit the Scottish Parliament for the first time next week, it was announced today.
President Higgins will address a meeting of MSPs in the Debating Chamber on Wednesday 29th June. He will be the first Irish President to do so.
The Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer, Ken Macintosh MSP, will welcome the President to Holyrood and will also host a reception for MSPs and members of the Irish community in Scotland.
The Presiding Officer, Ken Macintosh MSP, said:
“It is a great honour to welcome President Higgins to Scotland on behalf of all members of the Parliament.
“Our two countries share much in common, including a long history of family, social and cultural bonds. As well as celebrating these historic ties, President Higgins’ visit will focus on the future and how we can further strengthen the links between us.
“There is great excitement and anticipation at Holyrood around the President’s visit to Scotland and I’m very much looking forward to welcoming him to Parliament.”
The President’s visit to the Scottish Parliament is part of a wider programme of visits in Scotland that will take place over the course of the week.
The President’s address to MSPs will be broadcast on Parliament TV. Watch live from 12:40 on Wednesday.
On Monday, President Higgins will attend engagements with members of the Irish community in Glasgow. On Tuesday, the President will be awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the University of Edinburgh.
The President will be accompanied on his visit to the Scottish Parliament by his wife, Sabina Higgins, Irish Minister for the Diaspora, Joe McHugh and the Irish Ambassador to the UK, Daniel Mulhall.
Previous visits by international Heads of State have included:
• March 2016 – President Mahama of Ghana
• March 2013 – President Banda of Malawi
• October 2007 – President Mesić of Croatia
• January 2007 – President Grímsson of Iceland
• November 2006 – President Kaczyński of Poland
• July 2006 – President Adamkus of Lithuania
• July 2006 – President Rüütel of Estonia
• November 2005 – President Mutharika of Malawi
• January 2005 – President Marović of Serbia & Montenegro
• February 2002 – President Sampaio of Portugal
• June 2001 – President Mbeki of South Africa
• May 2000 – President Muluzi of Malawi
• September 2000 – President Rawlings of Ghana