His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco receiving a Galway Crystal bowl of shamrock grown by Paraic Horkan in Castlebar from John Feeley and Fran O'Rourke.Photo: Frederic Nebinger, Palais Princier Monaco


A bowl of Mayo-grown shamrock was presented to Prince Albert of Monaco as part of the St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the principality.

The shamrock was grown by the well-known green-fingered Paraic Horkan in Castlebar.

As part of the celebrations, His Highness enjoyed some of James Joyce’s favourite songs, performed in the Chapelle de la Visitation in Monaco by singer Fran O’Rourke, professor of philosophy at University College Dublin, accompanied by Irish classical guitarist John Feeley. The recital was organised by the Princess Grace Irish Library, which operates under the aegis of the Fondation Princesse Grace.

The Princess Grace Irish Library was inaugurated in November 1984 by Prince Rainier III of Monaco as his tribute to the attachment his wife felt for her Irish origins. During their 1961 State Visit to Ireland, the Prince and Princess visited the cottage — overlooking the Leg of Mutton lake at Drimurla, Newport — where Princess Grace’s grandfather, John Kelly, was born in 1847.

Prince Albert has also visited the family homestead in Mayo.