*President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella is welcomed to Shannon Airport by Mary Considine. 

PRESIDENT OF ITALY, Sergio Mattarella touched down at Shannon Airport on Sunday.

Italy’s longest serving President, Mattarella was first elected in 2015. He arrived in Shannon on Sunday accompanied by his daughter, Mrs. Laura Mattarella ahead of a short visit to Ireland.

Chief of Protocol at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Paul Kavanagh, H.E. Mr. Ruggero Corrias, the Ambassador of Italy to Ireland, the Ambassador’s wife, Ms. Vania Lorenzo and Mary Considine, CEO of the Shannon Airport Group welcomed the Italian President to Ireland.

Speaking at a dinner hosted by the President of the Republic of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins in Dublin, President Matterella stated, “Ireland is perhaps the most successful example of life in the European Union which ranks it in the top group in terms of per capita income of its citizens. Today, a few days before the European elections, the example of your country is a powerful message for those who still hesitate to recognize the benefits that individual countries derive from belonging to the European Union”.

He added, “A Union that Ireland and Italy together can help guide towards a future of ever greater integration, as the only possible response to today’s challenges”.

President Mattarella previously visited President Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin during his State Visit to Ireland in February 2018, when he planted a tree in the grounds of the Áras as a symbol of the friendship between the two countries. The two Presidents have also regularly been in touch, including their meetings at the annual meeting of the ‘Arraiolos Group’ of non-executive European Presidents. The 2021 meeting of the Arraiolos Group was hosted by President Mattarella in Rome, during which the two Presidents also held a bilateral meeting.

A Catholic leftist politician, Mattarella was a leading member of the Christian Democracy party from the early 1980s until its dissolution. He served as Minister for Parliamentary Relations from 1987 to 1989, and Minister of Education from 1989 to 1990.

In 1994, he was among the founders of the Italian People’s Party (PPI), serving as Deputy Prime Minister of Italy from 1998 to 1999, and Minister of Defence from 1999 to 2001. He joined The Daisy in 2002 and was one of the founders of the Democratic Party (PD) in 2007, leaving it when he retired from politics in 2008. He also served as a judge of the Constitutional Court of Italy from 2011 to 2015.

On 31 January 2015, Mattarella was elected President. Despite having initially ruled out a second term, he was re-elected on 29 January 2022, becoming the second Italian president to be re-elected, the first being Napolitano. As of 2024, five prime ministers have served under his presidency.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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