If you are giving the EU President a souvenir of Ireland it has to be ... a Cork GAA jersey

The European Commission President was given a Cork jersey during a visit to Croke Park.

Jean-Claude Juncker received the jersey reflecting European unity on his last day in Ireland.

The jersey featured the number 27 to mark his representing the EU27

During a two-day trip to Dublin he has joined other European leaders in pledging the bloc’s solidarity with Ireland over the border uncertainty with Northern Ireland created by Brexit.

The county of choice might have had something to do with the fact that it was Tanaiste Simon Coveney who presented Mr Juncker with the shirt.

(left to right) Former Kilkenny hurler Henry Shefflin demonstrates for European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker (Brian Lawless/PA)

The Commission President did not try his luck at either football or hurling, preferring to leave it to athletes who demonstrated the sport.

As Kilkenny hurling great Henry Shefflin – and Stacey Cahill, from Kildare, demonstrated their skills Mr Juncker said: “It is a vocation not a job.”

President Juncker also met Irish president Michael D Higgins at his official residence in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.

He complimented Mr Higgins on his “beautiful” home, Aras an Uachtarain, gesturing around the state reception room with its views across the park.

Mr Juncker met Mr Higgins and his wife Sabina and there were warm greetings as he thanked his hosts.

He took Mrs Higgins’ hand and planted a kiss on it, before giving her a kiss on the cheek and signing the visitors’ book.

- Press Association & Digital Desk

 

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