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In October 2012 President Higgins and his wife Sabina went to South America for a two-week trip to take in Argentina Brazil and Chile. Higgins's eclectic mix of interests also extend to sport; he is a regular at the Galway Races each summer and was the president of Galway United Football Club who played in the League of Ireland. He has contributed widely to political and philosophical journals on many subjects including ideology the sociology of literature clientism in politics regionalism and the politics of the media.
He was formerly a TD for the Galway West constituency and served as Minister for Arts Culture and the Gaeltacht from 1993 to 1997. Higgins was Teachta Dála (TD) and a member of the Labour Party until his resignation following the presidential election.