To celebrate President Higgins' 72nd birthday, we're paying tribute to Ireland's football-mad first citizen.


To celebrate President Higgins’ 72nd birthday, we’re paying tribute to Ireland’s football-mad first citizen.

Michael D. Higgins is no stranger to the beautiful game. He’s a long-time president of Galway United Football Club and even took time to attend the Tribesmen’s promotion/relegation play-off shortly before his inauguration.

The Irish president is invited to each home international and while his predecessor Mary McAleese was a somewhat irregular visitor, Michael D. has availed of his ticket at every opportunity.

293730_1He’s also been a frequent visitor to League of Ireland grounds since taking office attending games at Dalymount, Tolka, and Tallaght Stadium.

During Euro 2012, the popular President, whose sons played football, was out and about mingling with Irish fans in Poland and showed his passion for the Boys in Green when celebrating Sean St Ledger’s goal against Croatia.

“Soccer is very important. If you took it out of Irish life, you’d have a great big hole”

During the election, journalists openly asked Michael D. if he was too old to assume office, to which he pointed out he was younger than Giovanni Trapattoni.

Happy Birthday Mr President.

See below for our gallery of Michael D.

President Douglas Hyde meets the teams at Dalymount Park when Ireland faced Poland in 1938

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