I know, and coming here for the last four years has confirmed to me, just how important we are to each other, at the end of the day.

Lord Mayor, Tainaste, Ladies & Gentlemen,

All I can say is that we have had one of the most special days possible here, with you all in Cork. And the fact that it has taken so long to reach here is something that has been much on my mind for a very long time. But at last we have managed to reach Cork, the real capital of Ireland!

You’ve been more kind and welcoming and generous to us than I would ever have believed possible, and we shall take away with us such very special and happy memories, particularly of the English Market, together with baskets of tripe, pig’s trotters and all the fascinating things that make life worthwhile.

So we are hugely, hugely, grateful to you all, Ladies and Gentlemen. And for the hospitality you’ve shown us, for the interest and fascination of the engagements we’ve been carrying out today.

One of the things I discovered, to my astonishment, when I was visiting the Navy, was that my Great, Great, Great  Grandmother, Queen Victoria, managed to find herself marooned on a mud bank off Spike Island in 1846, which gave her time to do a sketch of Spike Island, of which I was given a copy - of course, the original is at Windsor in the archives, which I shall have to look up when I return. But of course she wasn’t stuck in the mud for very long!

And apart from all the other fascinating connections with my family, like the picture on the stairs of the Prince Regent, looking rather elegant as St. George, with the dragon. We have so many special connections and associations, that still exist and are so very important to us both.

We above all of course neighbours, partners and friends, bound together by all these different myriad connections and shared interests.

And I know, and coming here for the last four years has confirmed to me, just how important we are to each other, at the end of the day. Apart from anything else, the agricultural exports from this country to the United Kingdom are enormous, and of huge importance; tourism from the U.K. to Ireland is also of enormous importance and so of course are horses and everything to do with racing! When we get back to the U.K., next week is Ascot week, when the whole place will be flooded by wonderful Irish people, producing fantastic horses, and all that goes with it.

So Ladies and Gentlemen, as I said earlier, our countries, have travelled a troubled road together but with reconciliation and understanding as our guides, we have found a very important new path to shared prosperity and security. And together, we are determined that we must never lose our way again.

So Ladies and Gentlemen, if I may, I would just like to propose a toast to The President of Ireland, and the people of Ireland, and to the special partnership between our countries.

Ba mhaith liom sláinte an uachtaráin agus sláintemuintir na hEireann a ghairm.

[I would like to toast The President of Ireland and the people of Ireland]