A Photo Shoot; the little Gnome wont miss a Chance, Labour have a lot to answer for? Fu.. the Mask, I am President Michael D. Higgins; then there is Ivana, could she have any Snaps from the Elite Merrion Gathering. Alan Kelly, Come in please?

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Irish News

Michael D Higgins removed face covering for ‘brief’ photo opportunities

Michael D Higgins removed his face covering for a number of ‘brief’ photo opportunities in two Galway bookshops last week, his office has said.

The admission comes after the President was pictured without a mask in an apparent breach of COVID-19 regulations.

Photos shared on social media last Thursday showed Mr Higgins signing copies of his new book and speaking with staff in Charlie Byrne’s and Kennys Bookshop without a face covering.

Michael D Higgins Face Covering
Michael D Higgins removed his face covering for a number of ‘brief’ photo opportunities in two Galway bookshops last week, his office has said. Pic: Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop/Facebook

It has been mandatory to wear a mask in shops since August 2020, and failure to do so can result in a fine and up to one month’s imprisonment in respect of a first offence.

The requirement was introduced in regulations made under amendments to the Health Act that President Higgins himself signed into law in March 2020.

Upon signing the Bill, he said: ‘These new health and social measures may be difficult for many but they affect us all and we are at a point now when a person’s actions have consequences not only for themselves but for all in society.

Michael D Higgins Face Covering
Photos shared on social media last Thursday showed Michael D Higgins signing copies of his new book and speaking with staff in Charlie Byrne’s and Kennys Bookshop without a face covering. Pic: Kennys Bookshop/Facebook

‘Irresponsible individual action puts all at risk,’ he added.

Mr Higgins was pictured without a mask in several photographs shared online by Kennys Bookshop, Charlie Byrne’s and the president’s own social media accounts. In one image, he was the only one of 15 people in the photo without a face covering as he posed with members of staff.

He was in Galway to sign copies of his book, Reclaiming the European Street, which is a collection of his speeches on Europe since 2016. All proceeds from sales are being donated to the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin.

Michael D Higgins Face Covering
Mr Higgins was pictured without a mask in several photographs shared online by Kennys Bookshop, Charlie Byrne’s and the president’s own social media accounts. Pic: Kennys Bookshop/Facebook

‘The president wore his mask throughout his visits in support of local bookstores and only took his mask off for a number of brief posed photographs, for the shops’ archives,’ said the spokesman.

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