Our Enniskillen community welcomed the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, accompanied by his wife Sabina Higgins, on Wednesday 16th September to St Michael's Church after which they crossed the street to St Macartin's Cathedral.
Crossing the street from St Michael's Church to St Macartin's Cathedral
After a reception in the Deanery, President Higgins greeted a number of people representing both traditions in business, sport and education and representatives of various Community Groups.
L-R Revd D. Cupples Mgr P. O'Reilly Rt Revd J. McDowell Very Revd K. Hall and Revd S McGuffin
The possibility of the visit was first mooted when Monsignor O'Reilly and Dean Hall were guests of Her Majesty The Queen at Windsor Castle where they met both the Queen and the President during the President's State Visit.
The visit evoked memories of the visit of The Queen in June 2012, and it is hoped that it will also be a visit that gave a visible expression to community connections here. The President came to affirm us as a community. Like The Queen, he came in friendship. It was a reaching out, wishing to reach past the barriers and suspicions that the years constructed.
Martin Luther King, Jr, articulated that kind of separation when he said: Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated.'
The President, Michael D. Higgins, came to meet us as we are, respecting the reality of Northern Ireland. His visit to both sides of the street is a sign of the outreach that has been happening here over the years, endorsing the friendships formed and kept over the years.
At the front door of St Macartin's Cathedral