Taoiseach Micheál Martin provided Emmanuel Macron an unique, restricted edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses as a present when the French president visited him at Government Buildings on Thursday.
After bilateral talks and an outside press conference, they took a leisurely walk to Trinity College, pausing to listen to a piper and fiddler in front of the National Gallery. They stopped at Sweny’s chemist, where Leopold Blossom purchased lemon soap for his wife, Molly, spoke with tourists at Lincoln’s Inn bar and postured for selfies with them.
The French president’s day-long Dublin experience started at Áras an Uachtaráin in mid-morning, under an intense blue sky, with birdsong and the Defence Forces band playing nationwide anthems.
” Ireland occupies a precious place in the heart of the European dream,” Macron wrote in President Michael D Higgins’s guestbook. The 2 presidents discussed social Europe and post-Brexit Europe, climate change, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Haiti and the international Covid-19 vaccination programme.
The set strolled down the gravel course to the peace bell, which President Mary McAleese moved from your house to the garden to honor the 10 th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement. Macron pulled three times on the blue satin cable.
Misneach and Bród, the presidential Bernese mountain pets, bounded up. “This is an experienced diplomat,” the President said, patting nine-year-old Bród. “The brand-new fella is not as advanced and well-trained.”
In the State Illustration Space, the 2 leaders rested on Marie-Antoinette’s pink brocade couch, which Charles de Gaulle provided to Éamon de Valera.
Some of Ireland’s best minds relaxed them, in a circle of chairs and couches. Paul Gillespie, a UCD academic and professional in British-Irish relations, discussed the brand-new triangulation in between the UK, Ireland and the EU considering that Brexit, and the manner in which what happens in the UK affects Ireland more than any of its European partners.
Macron “was really there, in that space. He was absolutely engaged,” said the broadcast journalist Doireann Ní Bhriain, who moderated the “writers and thinkers” session arranged by President Higgins.
Catherine Day, the previous EU secretary general and chairwoman of the residents’ assembly, informed how the outcomes of referendums on abortion and gender equality mirrored the outcomes of the residents’ assemblies they followed.
The President said that given that the financial crisis, Brexit and the pandemic, the State has ceased to be viewed as an obstacle to innovation. Yes, his French equivalent concurred, Brexit and the pandemic were game-changers.
The theorist Richard Kearney produced a photo marking the launch of Memory, History and Forgetting by the late French philosopher Paul Ricoeur Among the smiling faces was a 22- year-old student with thick, long hair who had worked with Ricoeur.
” That’s Emmanuel Macron,” Ricoeur informed Kearney when he gave him the photo in 2000.
At Federal Government Structures, there was disquiet over the surges at Kabul airport.
Macron resolved Irish anxiety that pressure may mount in the EU for custom-mades checks in between the North and South if the UK continues to violate the Northern Ireland procedure. European solidarity with Ireland will not falter, he promised. “This is an existential concern for the unity of the EU. We will ensure that the accords which were signed after long negotiations are duly appreciated … consisting of the procedure. To say it in more familiar terms, we will never let you down.”
Ian Bailey case
Asked why Ireland has refused to extradite Ian Bailey, who was founded guilty in absentia in Paris in 2019 of killing the French woman Sophie Toscan du Plantier in west Cork in December 1996, the Taoieach revealed compassion for the dead lady’s household and stated the killing was still an open injury.
Linda Doyle, the provost of Trinity College Dublin, welcomed Macron at eviction of the university. A thoroughly selected group of trainees had waited in the Students’ Public Theatre, a gem of 18 th-century architecture, for 2 hours. They asked intelligent questions about vaccine inequality, migration and global supply chains.
Macron had actually been going non-stop for eight hours, but he was still fresh and smiling. “I wish to safeguard Europe,” he stated. European scientists had made the “tremendous achievement” of establishing a vaccine versus Covid in less than one year. China utilized its vaccines for “vaccine diplomacy”. Russia experienced production problems. The United States kept 100 percent of its dosages for the domestic market. “In Europe, half the vaccines were exported. We were without a doubt the most effective and generous region of the world.”
Macron was an intellectual with the intellectuals, a politician with the politicians, a professor with the students, and late in the day a business owner at the Guinness Enterprise Centre. His day ended where it had started, at Áras an Uachtaráin, for dinner. President Higgins summarised centuries of Franco-Irish relationship in a dinner speech, and Macron flew back to Paris, having by his own admission learned a great deal about Ireland.