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The state visits taking place later on this year present us with an opportunity to reaffirm all that is great about this bruised and battered country of ours

26th March, 2011
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On the table, a great cauldron of mussels steamed, and the brown bread tasted of caraway seeds and Guinness.

In the corner, an 85-yearoldman closed his eyes and sang about heartbreak - and another thumped the table and sang about a librarian’s conquest of the native female population of Clare in terms that would make an obstetrician half his age blush.

There was steak and snapper and a sticky toffee pudding that demanded...

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