Waterford Crystal tops State’s gift list

waterfrordFifty-two pieces of Waterford Crystal have been listed amongst the state gifts given to foreign dignitaries over the past 10 years.

A set of Waterford Crystal candlesticks, valued at almost €150, was by far the most popular gift to give to a visiting dignitary during the period.

In a written reply to a Dáil question last week, Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed that all State gifts dating back to 2003 – to the total value of €38,000 – were carefully sourced in Ireland, with the emphasis on suitability and value for money.

Amongst the most expensive gifts from the Waterford brand was a crystal dragon worth €1,972.50 given to Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan by then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in May 2005.

Other dignitaries to receive a piece from ‘the Glass’ included:

* Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who received Waterford Crystal flutes worth €198.

* The traditional Crystal bowl filled with shamrock was given to successive US presidents on St Patrick’s Day.

* President Vladimir Putin of Russia received a Waterford Crystal bowl worth €327.71 in 2003.
* Waterford Crystal candlesticks worth €148.21 were given to Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, the King of Belgium. Xana Gusa, president of East Timor, the presidents of Estonia, India, Serbia and Montenegro and South Africa, and Prince Abdu Aziz of Saudi Arabia.
Other Irish-made gifts on the list provided by the Taoiseach included an Aran sweater, CDs, a Foxford woollen scarf and a damask linen tablecloth, the latter given to German chancellor Angela Merkel by Bertie Ahern in 2008.

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