Lise Hand: Emotions bubble near the surface as Mary takes leave of her role
TO the very end, she kept her composure. But it was clear that it was a close-run thing. On the way out of her very last official function as the 8th President of Ireland, Mary McAleese stopped to talk to the melee of media gathered outside the door.
She's spent the past 14 years carefully choosing her words. She's had to remain vigilant for diplomatic landmines and steer clear of expressing any personal opinions which may place the government of the day in a difficult spot.
For 14 years and for thousands of public engagements, Mary has put on her game face. She has been chatty, serious, dignified, informal, but always presidential.