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President Juncker speaking at the conferral ceremony at the RCSI
21/06/2018

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was today awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the National University of Ireland. In his acceptance speech, President Juncker thanked the National University of Ireland for this important distinction: "This is a great honour for many reasons. Firstly because of where we are. The Royal College of Surgeons on St Stephens Green is a landmark in Irish history. The very spot we are standing in today hosted one of the most emblematic and dramatic chapters of the Easter Uprising. Being here today in a free and peaceful country, I am inspired by the journey Ireland has taken since then. 

"And I am equally honoured to join the list of Honorary Fellows from this historic University. Looking through the names, I see giants of Irish and European politics. Some of them are close friends such as the Taoisigh I have worked with during my career: John Bruton, Bertie Ahern, Brian Cowen and Enda Kenny."

See below for the full text of President Juncker's speech.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker addressing the Joint Houses of the Oireachtas
21/06/2018

In an address this morning to the Joint Houses of the Oireachtas, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Two years ago this week, the British people made a sovereign decision to leave our Union. I wish they had made a different one. But it is their decision and I respect it fully. However, other Member States, and Ireland in particular, should not pay the price for that choice. This is why when it comes to Brexit, I have always said that it is a case of "Ireland first". We have made a lot of progress in the negotiations, notably on issues linked to the orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom. But we are not yet there. The hardest parts are still to do. And there is not much time left to find a concrete agreement."

See below for the full text of President Juncker's speech.