State Visit 2022
News14 May 2022
On 11 May 2022, President of Ireland H.E. Michael D. Higgins and Sabina Higgins arrived in Malta on a State Visit accompanied by Ireland’s Minister for Social Protection and Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys T.D., and delegation.
Diplomatic relations between Ireland and Malta were established in 1990 and it was during the Irish Presidency of the EU in 2004 that Malta joined the EU.
During his visit, President Higgins held meetings with political leaders at State level including the President of Malta, H.E. George Vella, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Anġlu Farrugia, Prime Minister of Malta, Hon. Robert Abela and Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Bernard Grech.
President Higgins also laid a wreath before the War Memorial at Floriana.
The programme included a State Dinner hosted by President Vella, where President Higgins delivered a speech outlining Ireland and Malta’s strong relationship, historical ties and potential for future collaborations.
Historical and cultural Maltese locations that President Higgins visited included the UNESCO World Heritage site, the megalithic Ħaġar Qim temples, as well as the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta, during which the President and Sabina Higgins were accompanied by President George Vella and Mrs Miriam Vella.
President Higgins visited the Headquarters of the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) in Valletta and delivered a keynote speech on the issue of migration, a subject that as a sociologist and lecturer President Higgins has placed special emphasis on in his work. The event was also attended by the Rector of the University of Malta along with academics and students including from the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies, University of Malta.
The President was guest of honour at a reception for the Irish Community, hosted by the Ambassador of Ireland to Malta, Patrick Duffy, at MUŻA, the Malta National Community Art Museum in Valletta.
Following a final meeting with President Vella on 14 May, President Higgins and Sabina Higgins returned to Ireland, with the State Visit concluding with a Departure Ceremony at Malta International Airport.
Photo Credits: President of Ireland & EUAA