The President of Ireland Mary Robinson presented Taoiseach Charles Haughey with the European of the Year Award, in recognition of his performance during the Irish EC Presidency which brought great credit to Ireland during a period of dramatic change.

The award was created by the Irish Council of the European Movement to highlight the achievements of Irish people who have excelled in their fields at European level. 

At the awards ceremony the Taoiseach took the opportunity to condemn what he described as Iraq’s indiscriminate and unprovoked attacks on civilian targets in Israel during the Gulf War. He also dismissed as idle speculation reports that there is a strain between the government and President Robinson over recent events regarding eight reassigned members of the staff at Áras an Uachtaráin.

The Taoiseach used the occasion to dispel suggestions that there were any difficulties in relations between the President and the Government.

Were two institutional offices, or constitutional offices, the Presidency and the Taoiseach and I think it’s an indication of the good, warm, friendly, cooperative relationships which exist, and should exist between the Presidency and the Government of the day and the Taoiseach’s Office in particular.

An RTÉ News report by Cathy Halloran broadcast on 28 January 1991.