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The AEJ began 2013 with a courtesy visit to the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins at Aras an Uachtaráin. The invitation from the Aras in particular marked the election of Eileen Dunne to her second term of office as International President of the AEJ. In his remarks President Higgins said he was delighted to welcome the AEJ and paid tribute to the work it has done in providing a forum for discussion on a wide variety of topics and issues over the years.

The President said he wished to place great emphasis on the independence of the media even though that might cause displeasure for public figures from time to time. He noted Ireland’s hosting of the EU presidency during the first half of the year and said, as part of that, he would be delivering an address to the Sorbonne in Paris and was also scheduled to address the European Parliament at the invitation of its President, Martin Schulz.

AEJ chair Dr Martin Alioth thanked the President for his invitation on behalf the members. President Higgins mingled with members over tea for some after which they were given a guided tour of the Aras.