It’s important to make sure ‘there’s no one left without friendship’ – special message for children from President

President Michael D Higgins has said he believes homework should be done in school, so children can spend more time pursuing creative activities.

he President said “time in school… should get finished in school.”

Mr Higgins weighed on the homework debate while speaking to pupils from St Kevin’s National School, Littleton, Co Tipperary on a special, 20th anniversary, episode of RTÉ’s news2day programme.

“People should be able to use their time for other creative things,” he said.

“I think as much as possible that [homework] should happen in the school and I think it’s more relaxed than it used to be.”

President Higgins is due to complete his second term in office in 2025.

Speaking about his time in office, he said the week he spent in Creeslough, Co Donegal, following the explosion which killed ten people last October had been one of the most significant moments of his presidency.

“A very moving one for me was the week I spent with the people of Creeslough, with the people who had suffered that terrible damage in their community, and they had eight funerals and a great deal of grief,” he said.

Meanwhile, the President spoke about a number of different issues during the special episode.

He told how an “emotional” moment for him and his wife Sabina was his inauguration at Dublin Castle.

President Higgins also talked about his two dogs, Bród agus Misneach, and admitted that Bród is probably one of the most famous dogs in Ireland. 


President Michael D Higgins and his dog

“He’s probably a very famous dog now. He will be 11 in February, which is a very good age for a Bernese Mountain dog and Bród is wonderful,” he said.

“He came here at six weeks old, so he’s lived all of his life at the Áras.”

Mr Higgins also shared a special message with the children of Ireland, encouraging them to be kind to one another and to keep the Irish language alive.

“An important thing is friendship and to make sure that there’s no one left without friendship. We’ll all do individual things past that, but I think the friendships that you make will also be great memories,” he said.

“It’s also important to stand your own ground and let other children be allowed the space to stand their ground too. None of us are the same, we’re all unique but I would say, at the same time, we have a lot going for us.”

“The hope of the Irish language is with young people… Speak Irish in a way that gives you pleasure. Whatever bits of it you have use it, and don’t be worried. We’re not aiming for the Nobel Prize, we’re just saying the language that was our own language from the very beginning, thousands of years ago.”


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