All is in readiness for visit of President Michael D. Higgins

Plans are well advanced in Mallow as the town gears up for a visit by the President, Michael D. Higgins, and his wife Sabina on Friday November 28th.

The President will mark the bicentenary of the birth of Thomas Davis, poet, patriot and co-founder of the Young Ireland Move-ment, by unveiling a plaque and the statue of Davis which forms the centrepiece of the new civic plaza. During his visit to the town the President will inspect the register of birth and baptismal font of Thomas Davis at St. James’s Church and will also visit his birthplace at no. 73, Davis Street.

The main focus of the visit, however, will be the town’s new plaza where President Higgins will take the salute from the Army Band before taking his place on a stage erected by Cork County Council, which is supporting the various infrastructural requirements for the event. The President and his wife will be introduced by the chairman of Mallow Development Partnership, John McDonnell, and will hear a short address of welcome from the chair-man of the Partnership’s Heritage Committee, Tim Sheehan. The President will then address the attendance.

The presidential visit is the last of a series of commem-orative events to mark the bicentenary of the birth of Thomas Davis which were organised by the Mallow Development Partnership and the Thomas Davis Commemoration Society.

A representative group from Mallow joined others last April at a wreath laying ceremony at Mount Jerome Cemetery in Dublin, where Davis is buried, and a stone taken from the old Mallow Railway Bridge was unveiled at Glasnevin Cemetery adjacent to the memorial to Daniel O’Connell.

Mallow has also hosted a dramatic representation of the life of Thomas Davis which included a concert featuring some of Davis’s songs including ‘A Nation Once Again’ and ‘The West’s Awake’, while Mallow schools staged various presentations during the year, commem-orating the town’s most famous son, and a lecture on the legacy of Davis drew a packed attendance to the Hibernian Hotel last month.

A journal on the patriot’s life has also been produced, a copy of which will be presented to the President, and a commemorative stamp was issued last month by An Post to mark the bicentenary.