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The Irish love affair with Europe still brings a tear to the eye. But let’s not kid ourselves. This is a relationship based on money. Ask anyone involved with the Irish presidency which, thank heavens, took over the show from the temperamental Italians on 1st July.

Two summits and half a dozen ministerials over the next six months will do wonders for the tourist business. The Brussels bureaucrats and hacks will kick up a stink about third world telephone lines and second-rate cuisine, but they are a cut above the Hollywood stars who have taken over the country seats. And…

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