President Michael D. Higgins delivering the 'First Thoughts' speech
Jul 23 2018 Posted: 11:50 IST

The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, opened the “First Thoughts” segment at this year’s Galway Arts Festival. In this speech, the President reflected on the idea of “Home” - the core theme of this year’s festival - and commended the work of the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy.

"This university is fortunate I believe to host the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy Research, whose work is so critical to enhancing our understanding of the housing system here in Ireland, and its complex relationship with international and European financial and monetary policy developments. The Centre is home to scholars who provide a comprehensive understanding of the role of housing, so may I quote Dr. Padraic Kenna, ‘[h]ousing addresses the basic need for human shelter, but also facilitates the essential human requirement for home’. I am obliged not to stray any further into the detail of housing policy in Ireland, not only for constitutional reasons but also because I am aware that Catriona has assembled an excellent panel to discuss housing this evening. I do, however, wish to make two more general observations at the level of principle."

The full text of his speech is available here or watch the speech below:

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