Lise Hand: Students drum up an authentic Irish greeting for the President
As President Mary McAleese walked along the red carpet, lined on either side by cheering students enthusiastically waving little tricolours, she paused briefly to applaud a young lad who was expertly playing a traditional tune on a bodhran.
The young fella seized the moment and shyly asked her to autograph it. "I taught myself how to play it, I learnt from the internet," he proudly informed the President.
Mrs McAleese was impressed, and rightly so. For the Chinese musician hadn't a drop of Irish blood in him, nor any connection to the country apart from the fact that the Irish Government has donated money to his school, which offers free education to the children of poor rural migrant families.