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'I departed the Áras on very amicable terms' - Former adviser breaks silence

Mary Van Lieshout has said that she left the Office of the President to “pursue other interests”.

Mary Van Lieshout. (File photo)
Mary Van Lieshout. (File photo)
Image: Gareth Chaney/Photocall Ireland

A FORMER ADVISER to President Michael D. Higgins has broken her silence over her decision to leave her position in Áras an Úactaráin.

Mary Van Lieshout has said that she left the Office of the President to “pursue other interests” and that she departed “on very amicable terms”.

Van Lieshout said that she issued the personal statement as a result of the media response to her departure.

There has been speculation in several media that Van Lieshout decided to leave because of tension with other advisers and a frustration over a lack of access to President Higgins.

In a statement released through a PR company, Van Lieshout said, “In recent days there has been much speculation and comment relating to my departure from Áras an Uachtaráin. I have sought to protect my privacy by not commenting. However, I wish to clarify matters at this time.

I was honoured to accept the appointment of Adviser when invited to do so by President Higgins and was privileged to have the experience of working in Áras an Uachtaráin. In order to pursue other interests, I decided to end the assignment and have now taken up a role in overseas development, an area to which I have a deep, personal and longstanding commitment.

The former aide, who joined the President’s staff in February 2012 , added that she “departed Áras an Uachtaráin on very amicable terms with everyone and wish the President, Sabina and all my former colleagues well for the future.”

It has been reported that Van Lieshout will take up a position in aid agency GOAL.

Read: Michael D Higgins hires new speech writer…she sounds smart >

Read: President Higgins accepts invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to visit the UK >

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Rónán Duffy

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