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A special occasion for Ireland 

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The Home Internationals are always a wonderful occasion for the host nation, given that they only come around once every four years. I feel privileged to be serving as GUI President in 2019 as the Home Internationals return to Lahinch. 

To my counterparts in England, Scotland and Wales: a warm welcome to Ireland and this corner of Co Clare. The Old Course has a special status in Irish golf as the venue for so many great championships over the years. Lahinch, as I am sure you will discover this week, is about much more than golf. 

From the second green, you are within 100 yards of the main street. Proximity to the town makes for a wonderful atmosphere whenever golf tournaments come to Lahinch. That homely feel is why so many golfers, from home and abroad, keep returning here year after year. 

The next three days of competition offer a real treat for all of us who love the game. As always, there is huge pride at stake when the four home unions compete for the Raymond Trophy. 

On home soil, Ireland enjoyed a memorable win at Royal Portrush in 2015. That victory emulated previous home successes: 2003 at Ballybunion1991 at Co Sligo, 1987 at Lahinch, and 1983 at Portmarnock. To finish the week with the trophy in your hands is the dream for every host captain. 

For the players, it is a tremendous honour to be selected and reflects the high level that you have reached. Obviously, I would dearly love to witness another home success this week but I wish every team the best. I have no doubt, in years to come, you will have fond memories of Lahinch. 

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