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Irish President Michael D Higgins's toast at the Queen's state banquet: In full

Guests, including Irish prime minister, Enda Kenny and Northern Ireland's deputy first minister Martin McGuinness, toast after a speech by Queen Elizabeth II and the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins on April 8, 2014 in Windsor, England.
Guests, including Irish prime minister, Enda Kenny and Northern Ireland's deputy first minister Martin McGuinness, toast after a speech by Queen Elizabeth II and the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins on April 8, 2014 in Windsor, England.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny (top, centre) and Martin McGuinness, the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland (top right) attending a State Banquet in honour of the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins at Windsor Castle during the first State visit to the UK by an Irish President.
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duchess of Cornwall (4th left) attend a State Banquet in honour of the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins (5th left) at Windsor Castle during the first State visit to the UK by an Irish President.
L-R) Sabina Coyne, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh pose for a photograph ahead of a State Banquet on April 8, 2014 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
President of Ireland Michael D Higgins at the State Banquet hosted by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh in St George's Hall, Windsor Castle on the first official day of the Presidents 5 day State Visit to the United Kingdom. Photo Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography
Martin McGuinness (left), the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland attends a State Banquet in honour of the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins at Windsor Castle during the first State visit to the UK by an Irish President.
Deputy First Minister and ex-IRA Commander Martin McGuinness arrives for a State Banquet at Windsor Castle during President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins' visit to the UK which is the first State visit to the UK by an Irish President.
Brian O'Driscoll and Amy Huberman attend a State Banquet in honour of the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins on April 8, 2014 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II accompanies Irish President Michael D Higgins as he is shown Irish related items from the Royal Collection, in the Green Drawing Room, in Windsor Castle, during the first State visit to the UK by an Irish President.
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: President of Ireland Michael D Higgins and Sabrina Higgins pay their respects at the Mountbatten Memorial in Westminster Abbey on April 8, 2014 in London, England. This is the first official visit by the head of state of the Irish Republic to the United Kingdom. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
The Very Reverend John Hall, Dean of Westminster Abbey, shows Irish President Michael D Higgins around Westminster Abbey in London.
The Very Reverend John Hall (R), Dean of Westminster Abbey, with the Irish President Michael D Higgins during his visit to Westminster Abbey on April 8, 2014 in London, England. This is the first official visit by the head of state of the Irish Republic to the United Kingdom. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: Queen Elizabeth II (L) shows Irish President Michael D Higgins (R) Irish related items from the Royal Collection, in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle on April 8, 2014 in Windsor, England. This is the first official visit by the head of state of the Irish Republic to the United Kingdom. (Photo by Justin Tallis - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Irish President Michael D Higgins watches with his wife Sabina Coyne, as an Irish solider lays a wreath at the grave of the Unknown Warrior, during a visit to Westminster Abbey on April 8, 2014 in London, England. This is the first official visit by the head of state of the Irish Republic to the United Kingdom. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: Queen Elizabeth II (3rd R) shows Irish President Michael D Higgins (2nd R) Irish related items from the Royal Collection, in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle on April 8, 2014 in Windsor, England. This is the first official visit by the head of state of the Irish Republic to the United Kingdom. (Photo by Justin Tallis - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: Queen Elizabeth II (L) shows Irish President Michael D Higgins (R) Irish related items from the Royal Collection, in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle on April 8, 2014 in Windsor, England. This is the first official visit by the head of state of the Irish Republic to the United Kingdom. (Photo by Justin Tallis - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: Queen Elizabeth II (3rd L) shows Irish President Michael D Higgins (2nd R), his wife Sabina Coyne (2nd L) and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (L), Irish related items from the Royal Collection, in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle on April 8, 2014 in Windsor, England. This is the first official visit by the head of state of the Irish Republic to the United Kingdom. (Photo by Justin Tallis - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall attend the ceremonial welcome for Irish President Michael D Higgins on April 8, 2014 at the Royal Dais, Datchet Road in Windsor, England. This is the first official visit by the head of state of the Irish Republic to the United Kingdom. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
President Michael D Higgins addressed both Houses of Parliament in the Royal Gallery at The Palace of Westminster on the first day of the President's State Visit to the United Kingdom. Johnny Bambury/ Fennell Photography
Queen Elizabeth II and the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins arrive in a state carriage at Windsor Castle, Berkshire during the first State visit to the UK by an Irish President
Queen Elizabeth II and the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins arrive in a state carriage at Windsor Castle, Berkshire during the first State visit to the UK by an Irish President
The President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins (left) with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle in Berkshire during the president's state visit
Queen Elizabeth II (left) walks with the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins (2nd left), his wife Sabina (2nd right) and Prince Phillip (right) at Windsor Castle in Berkshire during the president's state visit
Queen Elizabeth II and the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins arrive in a state carriage at Windsor Castle, Berkshire during the first State visit to the UK by an Irish President
Queen Elizabeth II and the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins arrive in a state carriage at Windsor Castle, Berkshire during the first State visit to the UK by an Irish President
Sabina Higgins, wife of the Irish President, Queen Elizabeth II, the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins and Prince Philip inspect the guard at Windsor Castle, Berkshire during the first State visit to the UK by an Irish President
(left to right) Sabina Higgins, wife of the Irish President, Queen Elizabeth II, the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins and Prince Philip inspect the guard at Windsor Castle, Berkshire during the first State visit to the UK by an Irish President
Sabina Higgins, wife of the Irish President, Queen Elizabeth II, the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins and Prince Philip inspect the guard at Windsor Castle, Berkshire during the first State visit to the UK by an Irish President
(left to right) Sabina Higgins, wife of the Irish President, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II and the the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins inspect the guard at Windsor Castle, Berkshire during the first State visit to the UK by an Irish President
(left to right) Sabina Higgins, wife of the Irish President, Queen Elizabeth II, the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins and Prince Philip inspect the guard at Windsor Castle, Berkshire during the first State visit to the UK by an Irish President
(left to right) Sabina Higgins, wife of the Irish President, Queen Elizabeth II, the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins and Prince Philip inspect the guard at Windsor Castle, Berkshire during the first State visit to the UK by an Irish President
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she talks with President of Ireland Michael D Higgins during a ceremonial welcome at Windsor Castle on April 8, 2014 in England. This is the first official visit by the head of state of the Irish Republic to the United Kingdom. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: (L-R) Sabina Higgins, Queen Elizabeth II, President of Ireland Michael D Higgins and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh watch a ceremonial welcome at Windsor Castle on April 8, 2014 in England. This is the first official visit by the head of state of the Irish Republic to the United Kingdom. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: Queen Elizabeth II (L) walks with President of Ireland Michael D Higgins and Sabrina Higgins at Windsor Castle after a ceremonial welcome on April 8, 2014 in England. This is the first official visit by the head of state of the Irish Republic to the United Kingdom. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: (L-R) Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Sabina Higgins, Queen Elizabeth II and President of Ireland Michael D Higgins watch a ceremonial welcome at Windsor Castle on April 8, 2014 in England. This is the first official visit by the head of state of the Irish Republic to the United Kingdom. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: Queen Elizabeth II (4th R) walks with (L-R) Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Sabina Higgins, President of Ireland Michael D Higgins and The Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle after a ceremonial welcome on April 8, 2014 in England. This is the first official visit by the head of state of the Irish Republic to the United Kingdom. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins (centre) with Queen Elizabeth II (left) and Prince Charles (right) at Windsor Castle in Berkshire during the president's state visit
The President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins (centre) walks with Queen Elizabeth II (left) after arriving with his wife Sabina (right) at Windsor Castle in Berkshire during the president's state visit
President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins (2nd right) is greeted by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip (left) outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire
The President of Ireland Michael D Higgins shakes hands with the Duchess of Cornwall, as she and the Prince of Wales welcome him to the UK for a five day state visit, at the Irish Embassy in central London
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: Queen Elizabeth II welcomes President of Ireland Michael D Higgins at Windsor Castle on April 8, 2014 in England. This is the first official visit by the head of state of the Irish Republic to the United Kingdom. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: (L-R) Sabina Higgins, Queen Elizabeth II, President of Ireland Michael D Higgins and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh watch a ceremonial welcome at Windsor Castle on April 8, 2014 in England. This is the first official visit by the head of state of the Irish Republic to the United Kingdom. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The President of Ireland Michael D Higgins shakes hands with the Prince of Wales, as the Prince welcomed him to the UK for a five day state visit, at the Irish Embassy in central London
The President of Ireland Michael D Higgins talks with the Prince of Wales, as the Prince welcomed him to the UK for a five day state visit, at the Irish Embassy in central London
The President of Ireland Michael D Higgins shakes hands with the Duchess of Cornwall, as she and the Prince of Wales welcome him to the UK for a five day state visit, at the Irish Embassy in central London
The President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, accompanied by his wife Sabina Higgins arrive at London Heathrow Airport for the first state visit by a President of Ireland to the UK
The Queen addresses a State Banquet in honour of the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins at Windsor Castle during the first State visit to the UK by an Irish President.
President Michael D Higgins inspects the guard of honour of the 12th Infantry Battalion before departing the presidential residence, çras an Uachtarin in Dublin for Britain in the first state visit by a President of Ireland to the UK. Picture date: Monday April 7, 2014. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh welcome Irish President Michael D Higgins to Windsor Castle

A Shoilse Banrion, A Mhorgacht Rioga: Your Majesty, Your Royal Highness.

Thank you for your kind and generous welcome and for the warm hospitality you have extended to me, to Sabina and to our delegation. That welcome is very deeply felt and appreciated by me, and by the people of Ireland, whom I represent. However long it may have taken, Your Majesty, I can assure you that this first State Visit of a President of Ireland to the United Kingdom is a very visible sign of the warmth and maturity of the relationship between our two countries. It is something to be truly welcomed and celebrated.

Your Majesty:

You famously used some words of Irish during your State Visit to Ireland. Today I would also like to draw from the oral tradition of our ancient language a seanfhocal, or wise saying, often applied to the mutuality of relationships. It observes simply: "ar scath a cheile a mhairimid."

Because scath literally means shadow, this phrase is sometimes translated as - "we live in the shadow of each other." However, there is a more open and more accommodating meaning. Scath also means shelter. The word embodies the simple truth that physical proximity brings with it an inevitability of both mutual influence and interaction. But more importantly, I believe, it implies reciprocal hospitality and generosity; the kind of generosity reflected in your words this evening that encourages us to embrace the best version of each other.

Ireland and Britain live in both the shadow and in the shelter of one another, and so it has been since the dawn of history. Through conquest and resistance, we have cast shadows on each other, but we have also gained strength from one another as neighbours and, most especially, from the contribution of those who have travelled between our islands in recent decades.

The contribution of Irish men and Irish women to life in Britain, which Your Majesty has acknowledged with such grace, is indeed extensive and lends itself to no simple description. It runs from building canals, roads and bridges in previous decades, to running major companies in the present, all the while pouring Irish personality and imagination into the English language and its literature.

Like so many of our compatriots, Sabina and I feel very much at home when visiting Britain, which should be the case with our nearest neighbour and our close friend. Tonight we celebrate the deeply personal, close neighbourly connection which is embodied in the hundreds of thousands of Irish and British people who have found shelter on each other's shores.

Your Majesty:

History evolves, if we are fortunate, into greater mutual understanding between peoples. The welcome that is so naturally afforded to British visitors in Ireland today was, I think, wholeheartedly expressed on the occasion of your State Visit in 2011. Your gracious and genuine curiosity, your evident delight in that visit, including its equine dimension, made it very easy for us to express to you and, through you to the British people, the warmth of neighbourly feelings. It laid the basis for an authentic and ethical hospitality between our two countries.

Admirably, you chose not to shy away from the shadows of the past, recognising that they cannot be ignored when we consider the relationship between our islands. We valued your apt and considered words when you addressed some of the painful moments of our mutual history, and we were moved by your gestures of respect at sites of national historical significance in Ireland.

These memorable moments and these moving words merit our appreciation and, even more, our reciprocity. While the past must be respectfully recognised, it must not imperil the potential of the present or the possibilities of the future - ar feidireachtai gan teorainn - our endless possibilities working together.

This present occasion, which completes a circle begun by your historic visit three years ago, marks the welcome transformation in relations between our countries over recent years - a transformation that has been considerably progressed by the advancement of peace in Northern Ireland.

We owe a great debt to all of those who had the courage to work towards, and make manifest, that peace. I wish to acknowledge here the remarkable contributions of my predecessors Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese. I am especially pleased that former President McAleese, and her husband Martin, are here with us this evening.

We must, however, never forget those who died, were bereaved, or injured, during a tragic conflict. As the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur wrote, to be forgotten is to die twice. We owe a duty to all those who lost their lives, the duty to build together in peace; it is the only restitution, the only enduring justice we can offer them.

We share, also, the imperative to be unwavering in our support of the people of Northern Ireland as we journey together towards the shelter and security of true reconciliation. We celebrate what has been achieved but we must also constantly renew our commitment to a process that requires vigilance and care.

Your Majesty:

We have moved on from a past where our relations were often troubled, to a present where - as you have indicated - Ireland and the United Kingdom meet each other in mutual respect, close partnership and sincere friendship. That friendship is informed by the many matters of mutual interest in which we work together and support one another.

In recent times we have seen our two Governments working ever more closely together in the European Union and in the United Nations. We have seen deepening partnership in the area of trade, as well as in development aid where we both share a common commitment to tackling hunger and upscaling nutrition.

The future we each desire, and seek to work towards is one where Ireland and the United Kingdom stand together to seek common opportunities and to face common global challenges as partners and friends.

Your Majesty:

Ar scath a cheile a mhairimid. The shadow of the past has become the shelter of the present. While we grieve together for lost lives, we will not let any painful aspect of our shared history deflect us from crafting a future that offers hope and opportunity for the British and Irish people.

We again thank you for the hospitality that allows us, on this most joyous occasion, to celebrate the bonds of mutual understanding between our two peoples, and the warm, enduring friendship on which we have so happily embarked.

I therefore invite you, distinguished guests, to stand and join me in a toast:

To the health and happiness of Her Majesty and His Royal Highness, and the people of the United Kingdom;

To a creative cooperation and a sustainable partnership between our countries and our peoples; and

To valued neighbours whose friendship we truly cherish.

Go raibh maith agaibh go leir.

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