VETERAN Labour politician Michael D Higgins was declared Ireland’s next president last night after a collapse in support for his nearest challenger, Independent Sean Gallagher, in Thursday’s vote. The first official count gave Mr Higgins 40 per cent of the vote. The resounding victory – 701,101 votes out of 1.77 million – was secured with a tidal wave of 11th hour support for the 70-year-old from Galway after controversy over his biggest rival’s political fundraising past. Mr Higgins, a former government minister, came from 15 points behind in the opinion polls last weekend to seal his victory, with all other candidates conceding defeat. Amid hectic scenes at the National Count Centre in Dublin Castle, president-elect Mr Higgins said his term in office would be about inclusion, ideas and transformation.
more from The Scotsman here. (Some of us will never forget Michael Higgins reciting his poetry at Flux Factory during a late night event some years ago. Wonderful man. Congrats to Ireland!)