Taoisigh come out in force for proud Mary
IT was just like old times. Bertie and Biffo were back in the spotlight, Aras an Uachtarain looked magnificent and all was well with the world.
But like the relatives who broke the best china at the last party, it would have been unseemly not to have the former trustees of the now battered country around for the going-away bash.
And if there's one thing the blameless President Mary McAleese is renowned for, it's building bridges.
Yesterday, she held a reception for those who "placed their trust and faith" in her on her "daunting" 14-year journey.
No less than three former Taoisigh were there: Bertie Ahern, Brian Cowen and Albert Reynolds.
In her speech, Mrs McAleese reminded us of what we would be missing.
She said she was proud that so many of those who had helped her on her "eventful journey" were present.
Proud she may have been, but she couldn't help but reflect on Ireland's turbulent journey. "Prosperity landed like a whirlwind . . . but its foundations were weak," she said.
However, the ever tactful Mrs McAleese didn't linger on such matters and instead turned to happier themes.
"Earlier today, I planted a tree at the Peace Bell -- next to the oak tree planted by her majesty the queen on her state visit here in May.
"Those four happy, healing days told us much about the vast reservoir of mutual goodwill that now exists between these islands," she added.