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Sabina Higgins is the wife of President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, who was inaugurated President on the 11th November 2011 for a seven year term. With over a million votes he had the highest ever number of votes of any politician in the history of Irish election. President Higgins was re-elected in 2018, again with a historic mandate, winning the largest majority in the history of the State.
Sabina Coyne, now Higgins, was born in Cloonrane on the Galway-Mayo border and went to school in Ballindine and Claremorris, Co. Mayo.
At 18 years Sabina moved to Dublin to work in the office of the Land Commission. She began to study acting using the Stanislavsky method under Deirdre O’Connell who had trained at the Actor’s Studio in New York. Sabina was bridesmaid at Deirdre O Connell’s wedding to singer Luke Kelly (The Dubliners) and became, with Deirdre, one of the founder members of the Focus Theatre where she worked with Tom Hickey, Timmy McDonald, Mary Elizabeth Burke Kennedy, Joan Bergin and many others.
Sabina met Michael D. Higgins at a party in Dublin and in 1974 they were married in Dublin’s Haddington Road Church. Sabina moved to Galway, where in addition to working as a partner with Michael D. in every campaign and in public life for over thirty years, she maintained her involvement with Theatre and community arts, working with the world renowned Druid Theatre, An Taibhearc and other groups.
Sabina was also very active in community initiatives in Galway and in the setting up of Parents Councils on a local and national level to promote parents as partners in education.
Sabina returned to Education as a mature student and received a BA in Arts and an MA in Theatre from NUI Galway.
Sabina and Michael D. have four children, their eldest daughter, Alice Mary, twins John and Michael and youngest son, Daniel.