5,000 greet President-elect in Galway City

Monday 31 October 2011 15.30
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Michael D Higgins attends party for his campaign team
Michael D Higgins attends party for his campaign team
Reception where the best of the west musicians and entertainers performed
Reception where the best of the west musicians and entertainers performed
Michael D Higgins was elected ninth President of Ireland
Michael D Higgins was elected ninth President of Ireland

President-elect Michael D Higgins has been greeted by over 5,000 supporters in Eyre Square in Galway.

He was accompanied by Tanáiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore and by members of his campaign team.

Mr Higgins was the guest of honour at a reception where musicians and entertainers performed.

Earlier, Mr Higgins told RTÉ's This Week that he proposed to hold a seminar to discuss issues facing young people, such as mortgages, unemployment, exclusion and mental health.

Mr Higgins questioned the failures of the economic model adopted in Ireland and what he described as the extreme individualism it produced, saying now there should be a collective response to the problems now faced by the country.

He said the Taoiseach and the Tanáiste have informally welcomed his idea of holding a series of Presidential seminars, which would not interfere with the legislative process.

Last night, Mr Higgins hosted a reception at the Mansion House for members of his campaign team and paid tribute to them for the huge effort they had made during the election.

He told supporters that his would be a "Presidency of Ideas" and he would try to help fashion an Ireland that people would be proud of.

Reaction in Galway

Mayor Hildgard Naughton said Galway was "very proud" of Mr Higgins' contribution to its political life and his work in promoting the arts.

Bishop of Galway Dr Martin Drennan said Mr Higgins had served the people of Galway with care and compassion and was now called on to serve the country in a very special way.

The former university lecturer and long serving Labour TD for West Galway will be formally inaugurated as the country ninth President on 11 Novermber.