Here is a note from my diary - May 2011
"It is not often that I am effusive about political events but having just watched HE President McAleese and HM Queen Elizabeth II address those assembled at the state dinner at Dublin Castle in the manner which they did, I was moved by what I heard.
We are all witnesses to a transformational and poignant moment in the history of these two islands - often at loggerheads.
Just imagine the queen spoke in Irish - surely that's a first?
"At a time like this, perhaps a quotation from St. Francis might be appropriate to complement the magnificent efforts of HM The Queen and HE Madam President:
'That where there is hatred, I may bring love,
'That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness,
'That where there is discord, I may bring harmony,
'That where there is error, I may bring truth,
'That where there is doubt, I may bring faith,
'That where there is despair, I may bring hope,
'That where there are shadows, I may bring light,
'That where there is sadness, I may bring joy.'
"With Northern Ireland in mind and the momentous advances over the past 15 years in overcoming several centuries of emnity that has bedivilled the political, social, cultural and religious landscape of the region, one can be more confident about the future in this part of Ireland and the United Kingdom. Perhaps, then this might serve as a possible 'blueprint of togetherness' thus helping to bring peace to warring factions and countries or regions in other parts of the world divided because of what President Bill Clinton called, 'the fear of the other'".