President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins together with his wife Sabina were honoured guests of the Imperial Hotel, Cork City at the weekend. The President was on an official visit to Cork to mark the National Day of Commemoration which is traditionally observed on the Sunday closest to June 11th to tie in with the anniversary of the 1921 truce.
Checking in on Saturday 8th July, President Higgins stayed in the historic Michael Collins Suite at the hotel and enjoyed the best of Cork hospitality including breakfast of locally sourced produce from the nearby English market. As an added touch of welcome Michael Collin’s walking stick which is in the private collection of Louis Fitzgerald was put on display in the room overnight in honour of this very special guest and to tie in with the commemorative nature of his official visit.
Before departing for official duties, the President was given a tour of the hotel and regaled with its many historic connections and famous past guests which include Michael Collins, Frederick Douglass, Charles Dickens, Father Theobald Mathew and Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco to name just a few. President Higgins and wife Sabina were greeted personally by members of the Fitzgerald Family who recently became owners of Cork’s Grande Dame.
Commenting on the Presidential visit Director of Hotels at the Louis Fitzgerald Group Niamh Fitzgerald said “We are honoured to have the 9th President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina as guests of the Imperial Hotel. President Higgins is a superb stateman and is held in the highest esteem on a local, national, and international scale so it was a very exciting visit for all our team here at the hotel. On a personal level it was a true honour for our family to welcome to the president into this iconic building which has come into our custodianship since June. I think the hotel’s unique history, elegant style and sustainable ethos really made a lasting impression”.