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Tuesday, 22 May, 2001, 14:30 GMT 15:30 UK
Clinton honoured at gala dinner
Bill Clinton greets the Irish public in Dublin
Bill Clinton greets the Irish public in Dublin
Former US president Bill Clinton, will be the guest of honour at a gala reception in Dublin on Tuesday to raise funds for the Northern Ireland Fund for Reconciliation.

Mr Clinton, who arrived on a five-day visit to Ireland on Sunday, will be joined by Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern and former US envoy to the province, Senator George Mitchell.

This is Mr Clinton's fourth visit to Ireland - his first since leaving the US Presidential office in January.

Mr Clinton met with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
Mr Clinton met with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern

Mr Ahern was among the audience at Trinity College Dublin on Monday where Mr Clinton delivered the annual Independent lecture.

A brief walkabout in the central courtyard of the college earned him a rapturous applause from several hundred students.

Guests at Tuesday's gala dinner are believed to have paid up to IR£10,000 for their seats at Dublin Castle.

The event is hoped to raise over IR£700,000 for the Northern Ireland Fund for Reconciliation.

Mr Clinton has had two days of engagements and private meetings in the Republic and has met with Irish President Mary McAleese.

He also paid a courtesy call to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern at government buildings.

He said he hoped he would have a continuing role in the Northern Ireland peace process.

'Encourage other people'

Playing down his contribution, he said: "I'll do the best I can.

"I feel that here the main thing I did anyway was just to encourage other people.

"The actors in the Northern Irish peace process deserve all the credit."

On Sunday, Mr Clinton played golf with former Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Dick Spring.

On Wednesday he embarks on a two-day tour of Northern Ireland.

The main focus of his stay in the province centres on engagements in County Londonderry.

Mr Clinton will visit Derry's Magee college before meeting the city's councillors and assembly members at the Guildhall.

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See also:

21 May 01 | Northern Ireland
Row over Clinton's Derry visit
03 Dec 00 | Northern Ireland
High hopes for Clinton visit
05 Apr 01 | Northern Ireland
Clinton to get NI peace honour
30 Nov 00 | Northern Ireland
Clinton may get new peacemaker role
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