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Tuesday, 8 January, 2002, 22:51 GMT
Gorbachev visits Irish Republic
Mikhail Gorbachev
Gorbachev: Will spend two days in Ireland
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev arrived in Dublin on Tuesday for a two-day visit to the Irish Republic.

Mr Gorbachev will attend a series of events in Dublin where he will meet Irish President Mary McAleese and be granted the Freedom of the City.

The man who led Russia through the most difficult days of his country's shift to democracy, has also been conferred with an honorary degree.

On his arrival on Tuesday he went to Trinity College Dublin to receive the honour before launching the new European Russian Trust.

'Great man'

He later dined as a guest of the Irish Government in Dublin Castle.

On Wednesday, Mr Gorbachev will be accompanied by Dublin's Lord Mayor Michael Mulcahy during a visit to see members of the Russian community in the city.

After addressing the Institute of European Affairs and lunching with Ms McAleese he will be granted freedom of the Irish capital at a special ceremony.

Mr Mulcahy said: "This visit will help to cement relations between us, as well as doing appropriate honour to a genuinely great man whose place in history is already secure."

Ten years ago, Mr Gorbachev resigned as leader of the Soviet Union.

See also:

18 Aug 01 | Talking Point
Was it better in Soviet days?
30 Jul 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Russia
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