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About When in Rome

When in Rome is a premium box wine brand, working with small, independent Italian producers.

When in Rome Headquarter Location

Holte End, The Ridge Bussage, Stroud

Gloucestershire, England, GL6 8BB,

United Kingdom

+44 7557 944556

Latest When in Rome News

When in Rome… Irish President Michael D Higgin’s trip has been overshadowed by centenary row

Sep 18, 2021

For Irish President Michael D Higgins, it has been both a blessing and a curse. In Rome, he has found himself front and centre in a great debate on protocol, nationality and even the Irish constitution. The story has all the intrigue — allegations of a snub of the Queen, a back and forth row with a former taoiseach — and it is grabbing national headlines. Perhaps it is more that Mr Higgins could have wished for when it came to coverage of his fourth meeting with Pope Francis. Mr Higgins was asked if he was disappointed that his Italian trip was overshadowed by the controversy which began by his refusal to attend a commemorative event marking the centenary of Northern Ireland. “It didn’t enormously,” he answered. The president can deny it — but the Vatican visit has not just been overshadowed, but completely eclipsed. After the news broke on Wednesday that he had refused to attend a centenary church commemoration of partition and the establishment of Northern Ireland scheduled for next month, the President’s office received dozens of queries from journalists. Daily Headlines Newsletter & Evening Telegraph Newsletter Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning. Enter email address Sign Up Why did he refuse this event? Is it a scheduling issue? Does the President just not want to go? If so, why? Forthcoming information was slim as officials scrambled to decide on which course of action was best to take. The two visiting Irish journalists were told that a press conference with the President would take place on Friday. Speculation reigned on Thursday and the Irish airwaves were full of experts, politicians and analysts, giving their views on his position. In Rome, the President went about his business, but it cannot be denied that the controversy back home was on his mind. On Thursday afternoon, he finally caved and agreed to speak to the visiting media. The following morning, the last and most important day of his Italian visit, he and the Irish delegation set off to meet the Pope in the Vatican at 10.30am. Mr Higgins told Pope Francis that his wife Sabina had celebrated her 80th birthday on Thursday. However, Mrs Higgins turned 80 on Wednesday. According to the President’s spokesperson, it was a “slip of the tongue”. When President Higgins finally spoke to journalists in a small conference room in the Marriott Flora Hotel, he spoke passionately about his meeting with the Pope, who had labelled him a “wise man”. When the topic of the commemoration rolled around, Mr Higgins inhaled deeply and exhaled. He didn’t mince his words when it came to questions about former taoiseach John Bruton. Ultimately it was this row that has now dominated the news agenda. A not insignificant trip to Rome it has to be said, but not something that would necessarily make the front page or the evening news. Sometimes you just need to count your blessings. Download the Belfast Telegraph App Get quick and easy access to the latest Northern Ireland news, sport, business and opinion with the Belfast Telegraph App. Most Read

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