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Friday 27 April 2018

State papers - 1980: Charlie used power of prayer when choosing Maggie's gift

Ed Carty

Charles Haughey considered giving Margaret Thatcher a gift inscribed with a St Francis of Assisi prayer she recited after taking power.

The Taoiseach discussed with the Irish Ambassador in London a "suitable inscription" to be used on a token when the two leaders met for the first time in 1980.

Mr Haughey famously opened relations by giving the then-British PM a Georgian silver teapot. As relations between the two leaders hardened over the years, officials used to joke that the rest of the tea set would be a long time coming.

State papers released under the 30-year rule showed that Mr Haughey had asked Irish diplomats for advice. One official wrote back suggesting the St Francis prayer "Lord make me an instrument of your peace".

Irish Independent

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