Higgins takes hundred thousand dollar pay cut before he assumes office
New President reminds Galway of his love of Ireland
President-elect Michael D Higgins has handed over a hundred thousand dollars a year back to the Irish people.
The Galway man has confirmed that he will take a reduced salary as he soon as he takes up office.
Higgins, who returned West in triumph to a hero’s welcome in Eyre Square on Sunday, has pledged to take a $106,000 reduction in his annual salary.
Entitled to claim the full $450,000 a year package, Higgins will instead receive just under $350,000 in remuneration.
New legislation is being prepared to cut the President’s salary in line with recent reductions but Higgins has taken the voluntary drop.
The 70- year-old has also resigned from the Labor Party after his election and confirmed that he will only serve on seven-year term in office.
The new President vowed on his return to Galway to listen to those who elected him.
“I have lived by ideas all my life and one thing you can take in this presidency is that ideas will be valued,” said Higgins as 5,000 people braved the driving rain to welcome him home.
“I want to pledge now to use every breath I have for the next seven years to try and be inspirational at home, as we leave behind the false basis of that for which so many have and are paying a great price.
“We have moved past a chapter where the individual counted, now it will be about what we can do together.
The President elect then reminded those present of their place in his heart when he said: “I think there is nothing wrong with saying it publicly and often - I love Ireland and I love its people.”
President elect Michael D Higgin's acceptance speech at Dublin Castle:
Michael D Higgins - a career montage by RTE:
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