President Higgins has no plans to attend Castro’s funeral
President Michael D Higgins has no plans to travel to Havana to attend memorial services for the former Cuban leader Fidel Castro this week.
A spokesman for the President confirmed on Sunday that Mr Higgins would not be travelling to Cuba for any of the memorial events planned for this week.
Government sources Sunday night said that no minister was likely to travel for the funeral, but that Ireland would be represented by the Ambassador to Mexico, who is also accredited to Cuba, Sonja Hyland.
The President faced criticism over the weekend for his tribute to the Cuban leader in the wake of his death, which was seen by some as glossing over the human rights abuses of his regime.
The Irish Times understands that Mr Higgins is due to travel on a visit to Cuba next February.
While the President requires the permission of the Government to leave the state, no request from Áras an Uachtaráin to travel was made.
One minister said that if President Higgins wanted to go, the Cabinet was unlikely to stand in his way, but the President had a full programme for this week, and there are no plans to change it.
It was unclear on Sunday night if the Government would send a representative to the memorial services for Castro.