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President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina are greeted by Dean Robert McCarthy at the Remembrance Sunday service at St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin Photo by: Irish Times

President Higgins pays tribute to those Irish who died in two World Wars

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President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina are greeted by Dean Robert McCarthy at the Remembrance Sunday service at St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin Photo by: Irish Times

Michael D Higgins proved a big hit as he went to work in his new job as President of Ireland – with contrasting duties on both sides of the border.

The new man in the Aras spent his first working Sunday on official duty at functions of a very different nature in Dublin and Derry.

His day began at a Remembrance Day service in the capital for the Irish men and women who died in the two World Wars.

The new President’s first official function in office saw him lay a wreath during Evensong at St Patrick’s Cathedral to pay his respects to the thousands of Irish soldiers who died in the two wars.

It is estimated that up to 500,000 Irish men and women fought in the two wars, and that almost 10,000 died on the battlefields.

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President Higgins then travelled north to Derry, to present prizes at the finals of the All-Island School Choir of the Year awards in the city’s Millennium Forum.

“I am delighted to join you here tonight and to have had the privilege of enjoying such beautiful choral performances,” said President Higgins at the conclusion of a competition featuring 46 choirs from all over Ireland.

“Hans Christian Andersen said that where words fail, music speaks,” added Ireland’s new President.

“It has been inspiring to witness the final performances but every participating choir in this competition has shown the wonderful talent and teamwork that enabled each and every one of them to represent their school to the very very best of their ability.

“Surely a people that can sing together in harmony is a wonderful and great omen for the future.”

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