Ulster Unionist MLA Mike Nesbitt has described as ‘uncharacteristic’ the decision by the Irish President Michael D Higgins not to attend a service to mark Northern Ireland’s Centenary.
Mike Nesbitt MLA said:
“The news that President Michael D Higgins has declined an invitation to attend a service at Armagh Cathedral alongside Her Majesty The Queen to mark the Centenary of Northern Ireland, is surprising and uncharacteristic from someone who has shown a consistent willingness to reach out and promote reconciliation.
“The reciprocal State Visits were a high watermark in Anglo Irish relations and until we know the reason why he is ‘not in a position to attend’ we cannot be critical.
“Whether the President of Ireland attends or not, should not detract from the fact Her Majesty the Queen will be in Northern Ireland marking our Centenary at a church service which will see both Catholic and Church of Ireland Primates participate in an event entirely consistent with the Ulster Unionist vision of a Union of People.”