Apple pie for President Higgins in Stradbally

A CAFE and teashop in Stradbally has the Presidential seal of approval.

A CAFE and teashop in Stradbally has the Presidential seal of approval.

While on his whistlestop tour of Laois last Wednesday, June 13, President Michael D Higgins took an unexpected detour from his schedule to visit his favourite Laois café, Stradbally Fayre.

There was surprise and delight among local diners at around 4.25pm when the presidential car, led by a Garda motorbike, stopped directly outside, and President Higgins hopped out and took a seat in the restaurant.

Manager Martina Cahill was not too surprised at the visit.

“We were not told in advance, but we were half expecting it, because he calls in all the time. He likes our homemade desserts. He normally has apple pie,” she said.

Before he was inaugurated as President, the president enthusiast was a regular of the Electric Picnic festival.

“Over last summer he came in five or six times. It’s surreal, he is a very ordinary man, it’s like serving your dad,” she said.

Martina said presidential custom is invaluable.

“It’s great for us. I believe the Gardaí were all waiting for him downtown, and the people in the Arthouse,” she smiled.

The café specialises in serving local produce, organic meats, desserts with bread baked daily on the premises.

It is not known if President Higgins will be visiting the festival this year, though an invitation was extended to him by Chairman of Laois County Council Cllr John Bonham.