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.

Coming to Cork, with its proud history as a great maritime and trading city, gives us an opportunity to celebrate the strength of the economic and commercial relationship between our two countries which makes such a profound difference to us both. 

All you talented young writers understand the thrill of choosing just the right words, and the lasting pleasure of creating a brilliant story. And what brilliant stories you all sent in to this competition!

Expressions such as ‘going with the flow’ and ‘trying to push water uphill’ were coined with good reason.  That may seem trite, but to me it sums up why effective water management is both local and organised around the natural catchments which have been shaped by a combination of natural forces and human activity over millennia.

This memorial will stand for the courage and resilience that makes our Nation what it is, together with the values which keep us strong. It will symbolize, in perpetuity, our shared insistence that hope will always triumph over despair; and that, no matter what, our community will endure.

The ties between our two countries run deep, and today are as strong and as vital as they have ever been.

We are neighbours by Fate, partners by choice and friends because of the shared experience and deep affection that binds us.

Today, as we mark a century since they gave their lives, let us resolve to continue to fulfil their trust, so that every passing year will only add to the measure of their honour.

It hardly seems possible that twenty-five years have passed since Stephen Lawrence was so cruelly taken from his family.  I remember vividly the profound shock that I felt at his senseless murder, a feeling shared by so many people across this country and beyond.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Royal Albert Hall this evening to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen's 92nd birthday.