Tuesday 23 January 2018

President Hollande's friendship and hope

French president Francois Hollande and Taoiseach Enda Kenny during a press conference at Government Buildings in Dublin
French president Francois Hollande and Taoiseach Enda Kenny during a press conference at Government Buildings in Dublin

French President François Hollande and his compatriots have their own serious difficulties right now in the face of a brutal terrorist threat. Just a week after the unspeakable horror in Nice, he came to Dublin bearing friendship and hope for Ireland.

The French President very publicly and unequivocally endorsed Ireland's need to be given special status in upcoming negotiations on how the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, and on defining a new EU-UK relationship. He also recognised the importance of the Good Friday Agreement and the need to support the Northern Ireland peace process.

It was a very good outcome from the meeting between the Taoiseach and the French President. It comes at a time when Ireland faces an uphill battle to convince the other EU member states of its problems in a very uncertain situation which brings its own difficulties to all governments.

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