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A distinguished guest for the second World Live Performance Conference

President Michael D. Higgins

In June, Dublin will host the International Federation of Actors second World Live Performance Conference. From June 4th to June 6th, the capital city of Ireland will bring together hundreds of performers, union and industry representatives from around the world to talk about major trends and best practices in the live performance sector.

The Federation and the hosts of the event – Irish Equity and Equity – are proud to announce the participation of a distinguished guest in the Conference: the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.

Affectionately known as Michael D. by the Irish people, the President Higgins is a passionate political voice, a poet and writer, academic and statesman, human rights advocate, promoter of inclusive citizenship and champion of creativity within Irish society. He has previously served at almost every level of public life in Ireland, including as Ireland’s first Minister of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht.

Michael D. Higgins was born on 18 April 1941 in Limerick city and was raised in County Clare. He was a factory worker and a clerk before becoming the first in his family to access higher education. He studied at the University College Galway, the University of Manchester and Indiana University.

As Ireland’s first Minister for the Arts in 1993-97, Michael D. Higgins’s achievements include the reinvigoration of the Irish film industry, the establishment of Teilifís na Gaeilge, now TG4 – first Irish language television station -, and the repeal of censorship under Section 31 of the Broadcasting Acts. He also established a rich network of local arts and cultural venues which brought a crucial access to citizens across Ireland to these facilities.

Michael D. Higgins is also a writer and poet, contributing to many books covering diverse aspects of Irish politics, sociology, history and culture. He has published two collections of essays - ‘Causes for Concern - Irish Politics, Culture and Society’ and ‘Renewing the Republic’. He has also published four collections of poetry - ’The Betrayal; The Season of Fire; An Arid Season’ and ‘New and Selected Poems’.

He is married to the actress Sabina Higgins, and they have four children. Sabina Higgins attended the Stanislavski Studio of acting in Dublin and was a founding member of the Focus Theatre.

We look forward to seeing you in June with a single motto: “Performing live, acting together”.