In his notably passionate acceptance speech as the President elect of Ireland, Labour Party's Michael D Higgins, 70, said to the assembly at Dublin Castle that while he recognises the "righteous anger" of the Irish people, he is also of the opinion that the there is a need for "healing" so that the country can "move past recrimination."
Condemning the Celtic Tiger in his very first speech as President elect, Higgins - who has behind him the mandate of one million votes - said that he did not endorse the vision of Ireland that has been espoused by his close rival Sean Gallagher.
During his extremely moving speech, Higgins - who was accompanied on the dais by his wife Sabina, sons Michael Jr, John and Daniel, and daughter Alice Mary - said that it is time that Ireland left behind a "narrow individualism" which, rather than recognizing the pertinent connection between individuals, society, community and country, essentially values individuals for their "accumulated wealth."
With Higgins reverberating voice rising nearly to a shout and echoing around the hall, his passionate reference to the disquieting scenario in Ireland and to the "pain of the Irish people" which he said he felt during his campaign, left many in the audience with tears in their eyes.
Noting that his contact with the people during the campaign apprised him of the kind of stress that is linked to economic failure, Higgins - while addressing a press conference later on - said that he would urge the Irish people to return to "co-operative and collective values."