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Decades-old ritual seals history of independence

A DECADES-OLD ritual to ensure Ireland's independence was continued yesterday. Since January 21, 1921, the sovereign seal -- the symbol that has adorned every document issued by the State -- has been turned in Dublin each year to mark the foundation of the Irish Republic.

Yesterday, Billy Maguire, president of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, turned the famous harp, which is held in Dublin's Mansion House, as had his father and grandfather before him.

The seal represents the sovereignty of the Irish nation and it is said that it must be turned over once a year to maintain the Irish Republic.

Irish Independent