President Michael D Higgins expresses condolences to Queen on death of Prince Philip 1 month ago

President Michael D Higgins expresses condolences to Queen on death of Prince Philip

"I wish to convey my condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her children, her extended family and the people of the United Kingdom."

Irish President Michael D Higgins has expressed his condolences to the Queen on the death of Prince Philip.

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Prince Philip, 99, passed away peacefully on Friday morning at Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace confirmed.

President Higgins, in a statement, said: "I have learnt with great sadness of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

"On behalf of the people of Ireland, I wish to convey my condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her children, her extended family and the people of the United Kingdom."

President Higgins said that for over 60 years, Prince Philip served the British people with "an unfailing commitment and devotion to duty".

He added: "In the course of his long service he frequently brought an air of informality to otherwise formal occasions.

"His distinctive presence and unique sense of humour put participants at ease and always engaged those who encountered him."

The Irish president recalled how Prince Philip accompanied the Queen on her many visits to Northern Ireland and also on her historic State Visit to Ireland in 2011.

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President Higgins said: "I recall with a special appreciation how welcome he made Sabina and I feel in 2014, when I was making the first State Visit by an Irish Head of State to the United Kingdom in 2014.

"My hope is that these visits in 2011 and 2014, which he shared, will continue to be symbols of what we share as neighbours in friendship, peace and a sustainable future."

President Higgins also praised Prince Philip for "being an early advocate for protecting the environment" and for founding the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, a youth awards programme similar to Ireland's Gaisce awards.

He said: "I was very pleased when his scheme, the Duke of Edinburgh Award, and our own Gaisce, the President’s Award, were able to co-operate in the sharing and recognition of awards in Northern Ireland and elsewhere."

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Micheál Martin offered his condolences, writing: "Saddened to hear of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

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"Our thoughts and prayers are with Queen Elizabeth and the people of the United Kingdom at this time."