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2

AramcoWorld

he story goes like this: In 1847, the worst year of the Irish potato famine, an Irish physician in

service to the Ottoman Sultan in Istanbul beseeched the sovereign to send aid to his starving

countrymen. His pleas moved Sultan Abdülmedjid

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to pledge £10,000 sterling; however, upon

learning that England’s Queen Victoria was sending a mere £2,000, the Sultan, out of diplomatic

politesse, reduced his donation to £1,000. Nevertheless determined to give more, he secretly dispatched

three ships loaded with grain to call at the port of Drogheda in County Louth, north of Dublin. In gratitude, the

city of Drogheda incorporated the Turkish star and crescent into its municipal crest, a symbol that endures to

this day, appearing even on the jerseys of the Drogheda United football club.

Now, like many an Irish tale, some of the story is true and some is legend, while other parts? Blarney.

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