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High up on the façade of Heuston Station are three coats of arms representing the cities of Dublin, Cork and Limerick. That is probably the only place where the civic symbols of what were once the country’s three largest cities are displayed together.

We tend not to think about Irish cities as a group. They never enjoyed collective status like, say, the royal burghs of Scotland. They have hardly ever displayed common purpose (not at least until the chambers of commerce confederated in Chambers Ireland). Perhaps if the GAA had organised sporting competition by city region rather than by parish and county, things might have been different.

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