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President Higgins sends congratulations to King Felipe VI

President Higgins has written to King Felipe VI to congratulate him on his proclamation as king by the Parliament of Spain.

Photograph of President Michael D. Higgins

The President said:  “On the occasion of your proclamation by Parliament as King of Spain and Head of the Spanish State, I take the opportunity to express to you, on my own behalf as representative of the Irish people, my warmest congratulations”.

President Higgins noted that “Ireland and Spain enjoy remarkable cultural and political affinities, both historical and contemporary. In Ireland, we have never forgotten how Spain, at some of the darkest moments of Ireland’s history, came to our assistance, including by providing refuge for Irish exiles and granting the opportunities denied to them at home. Indeed, your illustrious predecessor and namesake Philip II played a special role in providing Royal protection for Irish exiles. Many of these exiles and their descendants repaid their debt through loyal service to the Spanish crown, including two who subsequently served as Prime Ministers.”

The President also reflected on the nature of the relationship between Ireland and Spain in more recent times: “Today, Spain and Ireland are strong partners within the European Union. Both our countries have contributed greatly to the Union and have also enjoyed the benefits that our membership has brought. While our two countries have recently undergone an unprecedented financial and economic crisis, I am profoundly optimistic about our prospects and confident in our ability to build a secure and sustainable future for our citizens.”