IT FELL that during a recent holiday in Galway, in southern Ireland, that the Irish President Michael D Higgins made the first state visit to England.

Higgins is known lovingly by the locals – because of his stature and impish grin and looks – as “the King of the Leprechauns”. Standing in a queue in the local shop, I overheard this conversation between two men.

“When I worked on the roads over in England, they didn’t let any Irish work in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.”

“Oh, is that so?

“They seem to let anyone in now.”

DM Deamer, Penleys Grove Street, Monkgate, York.