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The Irish connection

JOHN Lennon was asked once in an interview how he saw his life at the age of 64.

His reply was simple: "I hope we're a nice old couple living off the coast of Ireland looking out at our scrapbook of madness."

Every country likes to claim a famous person as their own, but Ireland truly was the Beatles' favourite country.

The links between here and the Fab Four start with the Irish heritage of John, Paul and George.

Lennon went on to buy an island here, while Paul McCartney celebrated his wedding to Heather Mills in Castle Leslie, Co Monaghan, in 2002.

The hysteria that writer Alun Owen saw on the Irish dates The Beatles played in 1963 inspired the script for the film A Hard Day's Night.

Then there are the holidays at Dromoland Castle and numerous landings in Shannon Airport.

"The fact that John Lennon saw himself living in Ireland aged 64 on the island he owned in Clew Bay shows you just how at home the Beatles felt here," Michael Lynch, co-author of the book The Beatles and Ireland, told the Herald.