|The Republic of Ireland, which died today.|
She was a fine sporting competititor as well as a participant in the field of culture, and her output in sports and the arts belied her resources and standing in the world.
Her early and middle years were marked by an uneasy, some would say, abusive relationship with her church. It was a testament to her strength of spirit and courage that she was able to assert her own rights and beliefs whilst maintaining a close relationship with the church that had harmed her.
Relations with her half sister, Ulster, were more troubled. Regular bickering had almost escalated into full scale violence on a number of occasions, as both sisters dragged old indiscretions and arguments to the fore in a manner which gave friends and family great cause for pain. Thankfully, towards the end of her life, relations between the half sisters, who shared a common mother, were better than they had been for longer than anyone could remember.
In 1973, she married infamous bigamist, European Union. At first the union was very fruitful, especially for Ireland, and she blossomed, becoming one of the most successful wives in the household. However, following the taking of a dozen new wives by European Union in the early part of the century, Ireland found that she was no longer the youngest, prettiest wife and the relationship started to suffer. In 2008 it appeared that the relationship had broken down, however Ireland reconsidered divorce, admittedly under pressure from her husband, in 2009.
Her last days were marred by financial problems of the sort which sadly also marked the demise of fellow wife Hellas. She died in her sleep last night, just shy of her 80th birthday. She is survived by 4.4 million children, and will be missed greatly by countless millions more around the globe.
The funeral will be a private affair. Please, no flowers.