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Sabina Higgins ‘dismayed’ at controversy over letter

This News Publish on Youtube, entitled “Sabina Higgins ‘dismayed’ at controversy over letter” here is their detail.

In an effort to clarify comments over her controversial letter to the irish times last week sabine higgins released a statement late yesterday defending her comments adding that she was dismayed by the criticism that her comments had garnered in the statement ms higgins added that she strongly condemned the illegal russian invasion of ukraine and.

Couldn't be anything but dismayed that people would find anything unacceptable in a plea for peace she also said she decided to put the letter up on the general president.ie website in a personal capacity on her own dedicated section of the website which she has used she said for the last number of years so with that statement.

Should the issue be put to bed well for reaction i'm joined by fergus finley a columnist former uh labour party advisor now what do you make of this uh controversy i mean maybe she threw a little bit of fuel on the fire yesterday because as uh michael said it would have been simple to say i made a mistake.

Yeah simple but may be difficult um uh she has a woman she's a woman with very strong views um uh on the subject of that she's a history of you know campaigning for peace and so on i i i agree with michael and i disagree with him in some ways i think she is that she has an absolute entitlement.

To say whatever she thinks um she what she said was wrong uh in fact it was fatuous um you know so that was the first misjudgment uh in in the content the fact of writing the letter i have no problem with the content of the letter.

Uh i think everyone you know who has any wit at all would have a problem with you cannot make as michael said moral equivalence between an oppressor and the oppressed you just can't do that ireland has taken a side in this war.

And we've taken the correct side vladimir zelinski had a moral choice to make but his country was invaded and there was only one moral choice he could make which was to stand up to the invader and he made it and we have chosen to support him as a country in all sorts of ways not least uh you know the number of ukrainians who are now.

Living here um so she was completely wrong uh in in doing that i i i unlike you pat i don't study the presidential website i do look at it from time to time it very very seldom contains anything other than diaries very seldom for example for example.

I was very interested in reading in full the speech made by uh the president recently about housing and so on and that speech was recorded and it was broadcast and so on but oddly enough there is no speech on the website on the president's own website that speech was not put up on the website so why this letter was put up um.

I i don't know i i think to be honest i think there was probably a little bit of vanity involved um and and that was a misjudgment uh so like we've had a series of misjudgments here but i i would hope it's over and done and that lessons have been learned the question raised by one of our.

Listeners mary she says had sabine higgins written a letter supporting zielinski there would not have been any issue irrespective of where she posted it she would be loaded the issue arose because she dared to have an opinion on a war that will one day have to end via negotiation we now live in a society where one is shamed for not voicing the.

Uh opinion of the herd well i think that's i think that's a bit unfair to be honest all not all wars end by negotiation some wars end by conquest and surrender um and every war ends one way or the other by conquest our surrender are by negotiation everyone wants this war to end by negotiation um ideally uh we'd.

All love it to end by russia recognizing the error of its ways and withdrawing um that we all know that's not gonna happen we all know and hope and believe that there is going to be a negotiation at some point but the negotiation has to be based on some principles some recognition of the right of ukraine to self-determination this is.

Something we fought for for most of our history we surely get that um and to try to pressure anyone who has been invaded oppressed in whose country war crimes have been committed to simply accept whatever terms are negotiated and to try to encourage the rest of us to put pressure on the oppressed but.

Negotiation is simply wrong okay just i mean to undermine the ukrainians uh who are facing uh a war for survival of their their country and that's the issue that people have but that question about if the president's wife articulates uh something that is in support of government policy on housing on the arts.

On uh the war in ukraine or whatever it is um is that acceptable or does that person whoever it may be in that role of consort spouse partner or whatever does that person really should they just keep their gob shut no well i don't believe anyone should be.

Obliged to keep their guard shot to be honest i think the president is constrained in certain ways uh you know his his express views are supposed to be in accord with uh with public policy and that's kind of written down in law but suppose you use your spouse partner etc uh to get out something out there that.

You're not allowed constitutionally to say yourself but you get um the husband or the wife to do it for you well then you're manipulating your spouse or partner um and you know that's nonsense like who knows no i'm not entitled to manipulate my.

Wife to say things that uh um no but if i said to you fergus you cannot uh talk about this and you say well i won't talk about this i understand the constitution says says i can't but yourself and your wife are at one in a subject which does not accord with government policy so your wife goes out.

And she says what you really believe because both of you believe it i give it i give you a tiny little silly example um there was a an item in the sunday times a couple of weeks ago kind of tweeting me um because i have expressed a lot of views about you know the the needing along with building.

Housing and all that and so on and my wife um objected to a very particular planning permission uh in in our locality she objected to the design and so on and i i was sort of asked the question in this piece you know where do i stand in relation to this that it was a kind of a jacos kind.

Of an item um not a big deal but i felt like right into the times and apologizing for the fact that my wife had a mind of her own how dare she and you know your wife is your wife if your wife doesn't have a mind of her own there's something wrong with your relationship with your marriage um and i.

Can tell you my wife definitely has a mind of her own and and and from everything i know of sabine higgins which is not a love nobody could say she doesn't have a mind her own i cannot imagine michael d higgins waking up to the morning and saying sabina will you say something because i'm not allowed to say it and.

Her saying yes dear that she'll say it if she wants to say it not if she doesn't so i i mean you know i i look past this was a series of i i actually think there was a misjudgment in the way she signed the letter i thought it was slightly disingenuous to sign that sabine higgins dublin eight uh as if you know that was.

To sort of emphasize i'm a private citizen here we all know what dublin aid means in that context um and there's a slight sort of insult to the intelligence about all of us but it's done it's over i i hope lessons are learned by it and and uh that you know um there's a bit of rich uh attached to it.

I i i think anyone who knows their history and god knows michael d knows his history um if if anyone knows their history knows that you cannot make the kind of moral equivalents that damien higgins seem to make in that letter you just can't do that and stand over it it's just nonsensical fergus findlay.

Thank you very much for joining us

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