20 members of the Achill Community were invited to attend a Garden Party in Áras an Uachtaráin, hosted by President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina.
The Achill invitees made up a crowd of over 400 attendees from 24 islands all around the coast. Mrs Higgins greeted each person as they arrived to the Áras and the President chatted and posed for pictures in their private gardens to the rear of the house.
President Higgins gave a rousing speech that lasted 17 minutes where he spoke of the communities that live on an island, how they preserve Ireland's culture & heritage and are the custodians of the Irish way of life, he went on to say that it's high time Islands and the people who live there get the recognition and support they deserve. Listen to his full speech here https://m.soundcloud.com/arasanuachtarain/speech-by-president-higgins-at-a-garden-party-for-representatives-of-irelands-island-communities
As a politician President Higgins was a minister that represented the islands for which he continues to share an infinity and love for these communities. He spoke of each Islands individualities and strengths. From tourism in the summer to the storms of winter where many islanders can feel isolated and cut of from access for weeks on end.
Watch the RTE news clip here: