There was a lot of emotion on display in the Seanad during last week's passionate discussion on the Israel/Hamas conflict.

Some of it was hysterical hyperbole, such as Marie Louise O'Donnell's rant against a "toothless and insular Europe"; some was offensive, such as the Sinn Fein comment that "the English were never coming to the table until Canary Wharf happened" but much was reasoned, thoughtful and sincere.

The always impressive Averil Power said: "As a country we have always prided ourselves in using our voice in international organisations like the UN to promote human rights and stand up for the oppressed".

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