In Dublin Castle on Saturday last, following a Presidential campaign that most will agree was barely a contest, Michael D Higgins delivered his acceptance speech following his re-election as President of Ireland. There were a number of lines that stood out to me in his speech, most notably this one: “A real Republic is one where every person is encouraged and supported to participate fully and where every person and community is treated with dignity and respect.”

We have seen a lot of change in recent years with the country voting strongly in favour of a more accepting and welcoming society in terms of the personal choices that people living here make in their lives. Michael D Higgins also called out that his election was a reflection of how we want to be perceived as a nation at home and abroad; Ireland as a role model in an increasingly divided world.