Tuesday 20 March 2018

Shake on it

• You very aptly described the handshake between Queen Elizabeth and Martin McGuinness as an "occasion loaded with symbolism".

Another famous handshake in a similar category was when the US President Richard Nixon, a staunch anti-Communist through much of his political career, first met Chinese Communist Leader Mao Tse-tung in February 1972. It was a gesture burdened with optimism and fear. And, of course, here in Ireland the 'handshake' after the consecration in the Mass is our widest known expression of peace.

Only last weekend, yet another historic handshake was in the headlines. It was between Enda Kenny and Angela Merkel, when a dramatic deal on Ireland's bank debt was delivered. This was definitely a handshake of gratitude and great relief on the one side, with a possibility of mixed feelings on the other.

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