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President's wife has damaged his office

Published 16/05/2016

I know personally of the quiet and constructive work for cross-border and cross-community relations by Martin McAleese while his spouse Mary was President of Ireland.

But I am at a loss to recall even one occasion when he somehow felt entitled to preach or advocate in public either about that or about anything else, much less about any highly contentious political debates.

By her public intrusion into the extremely complex and highly sensitive debate on abortion, Sabina Higgins has seriously damaged the office of President.

There is no role under Irish law as First Lady. And the role of her spouse, who holds a defined constitutional office, is certainly not to be partisan.

TOM CAREW

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