Monday, February 6, 2012

Michael D Higgins

Michael Daniel Higgins (Irish: Mícheál D. Ó hUiginn; born 18 April 1941) is the ninth and current President of Ireland, having taken office on 11 November 2011 following victory in the 2011 Irish presidential election. Higgins is an Irish politician, poet, sociologist, author and broadcaster. Higgins was President of the Labour Party until his resignation following the presidential election. He was formerly a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Galway West constituency and served as Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht from 1993 to 1997.

Early Life
Higgins was born in Limerick. When his father's health grew poor, with alcohol a contributing factor, his mother sent Higgins, aged five, and his four-year-old brother to live on his unmarried uncle and aunt's farm near Newmarket on Fergus, County Clare. His older twin sisters remained in Limerick. He was educated at Ballycar National School, County Clare; St. Flannan's College, Ennis; University College Galway (UCG); Indiana University; and Manchester University. As an undergraduate at UCG, he served as Vice Auditor of the College's Literary and Debating Society in 1963–1964, and rose to the position of Auditor in the 1964–1965 academic year. He also served as President of UCG Students' Union in 1964–65.

Higgins holds a graduate degree in sociology. In his academic career, he was a Statutory Lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Sociology at University College Galway and was a Visiting Professor at Southern Illinois University. He resigned his academic posts to concentrate fully on his political career.

He is a fluent speaker of both official languages, Irish and English.

Family life
His wife, Sabina Coyne, is an actress and a native of Cloonrane, a townland in County Galway near Ballindine, County Mayo. She grew up on a farm there in a family of five girls and two boys. She developed an interest in theatre and trained using Stanislavski's system. Higgins met Coyne in 1969 at a party in the family home of journalist Mary Kenny. Higgins proposed at Christmas 1973 and they got married the year after. They have four children: Alice Mary, twins John and Michael Jnr, and Daniel.

From :