EU embassies all over the world, reflecting the soft power of the EU, which, despite the ongoing euro crisis, is still very much building up the EU brand as a global superpower. The idea of a separate foreign policy for any of the 27 member states has now been made almost completely irrelevant in the context of a common, tightly coordinated EU position.

This discourse had its roots in economic self-interest, obligations to the diaspora and political considerations, including those involving the Northern peace process. It could also be construed as an opportune use of soft power by a small state. And it was also short-lived.

Ireland Reaching Out is hoping to raise funds to expand to the rest of Galway and serve as a central Web site and database for similar reverse genealogy efforts elsewhere in the country. And by appealing to the Irish to come home, if only for a visit, the project could even help revive the local economy.

The people of the United States and the people of Ireland are working together to find more ways to improve maternal and child nutrition in the 1,000 day window between pregnancy and when a child turns 2 years old, when nutrition is most critical for saving lives and promoting cognitive and physical development.

Before the world commemorates the centennial of the Titanic's sinking next year, Belfast has decided to celebrate the ship's launch, to remind people of its ship-building legacy. The residual sense of shame about the disaster is fading, replaced with a pride in the city's maritime history.

The images of Barack Obama's recent visit were a publicity consultant's dream. But beyond the feel-good photography and the cheerful bonhomie, there was purpose and substance to Obama's trip, specifically the need to redefine America's relationship with Europe in a much-changed world.

Obama's morale-boosting stop-off, together with Queen Elizabeth's historic state visit just days earlier, have given Irish tourism a boost it desperately needed after three years of recession saw revenues and visitors drop by about a third.

Obama’s project to remake the U.S. image abroad has always relied, at its core, on his own against-the-odds story. And the adoring reception he received, from the public and its elected leaders, suggested the message still resonates here.