The visit to Enniskillen yesterday (Wednesday) of the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins and his wife, Sabina, was indeed another symbolic gesture to mark the progress made by our community.

He followed in the footsteps of Her Majesty The Queen three years ago, during her groundbreaking visit when she walked from St. Macartin’s Cathedral to St. Michael’s Church accompanied by Dean Kenny Hall and Monsignor Peter O’Reilly.

This time, the President, accompanied by his wife, Sabina, did it in reverse, attending a service in St. Michael’s Church first, after being greeted by Viscount Brookeborough, the Queen’s representative in Fermanagh.

Those involved in both churches and parishes, the Parish Council and Select Vestry, also met together to host a reception for the President in the Deanery.

The President, who is passionate about building good relations, and who is also a poet of note and an academic, took great interest in the tour of the Cathedral, where there is strong representation of the two army regiments raised in Enniskillen and other historic relevance.

He also got to meet the representatives of the business, education, sport and public servants during a meet and greet in the Cathedral.

More poignantly perhaps was the President’s meeting with relatives of the victims of the Enniskillen Remembrance Day bomb.

Earlier in the day, the President visited Erne Integrated College where he met pupils and staff.

A number of years ago, no-one would have contemplated that Enniskillen would host Statemen and women from these islands and from around the world.

Now in the space of three years, the town and county has hosted the Queen, the President of Ireland and international leaders attending the G8 Summit.

In a quiet and dignified way, the community in this town and county has paved the way ahead for others to follow their example.