I will be a president for all, declares Michael D Higgins

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Michael D Higgins has pledged to be a president for all the people of Ireland as he stormed to a resounding and convincing victory.

He promised commitment to an inclusive and shared world as he celebrated with friends and supporters at Dublin Castle.

The left-leaning politician’s campaign focused on a message of equality and togetherness, building strong and sustainable communities and sharing the island’s at times divisive history while shaping the future.

Mr Higgins said: “This is a time to be active rather than passive, and clear choices are opening up as to what will be the character of our Irishness.

“Will it be a commitment to inclusion and a shared world or a retreat to the misery of an extreme individualism?”

He said he was deeply moved by the support he received from those of all political parties, and none, and from every strand of Irish life.

He said he accepted his mandate for the next seven years with humility, determination and excitement.

“This election shows that our journey is under way and that it includes all age categories and, while led by young people, can be seen amongst all ages and in all the regions, urban and rural, women and men.”

He said there is momentum behind empathy and compassion.

“A real republic is a republic of equality, of shared vulnerabilities and of collective capacities.”

He said people want security in housing and to live in a healthy community.

“The presidency can bring together the different strands of our nation, past, present and future.”

Mr Higgins pledged to represent Ireland’s voice in responding to global challenges like climate change, Brexit, hunger, and the scourge of violence against women.

“I will, on your behalf, represent an Ireland committed to a peaceful world and a shared planet and together we will ensure that Ireland’s voice matters,” he said.

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