Article originally appears on 3.20.16

Irish Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys won applause at Sundaymorning’s St. Patrick’s Day breakfast when she said the Irish in Massachusetts have thrived in politics, business and culture, and called Boston “the Irish capital of America.”

Noting she’d been told to expect a lot of ribbing, Humphreys picked up instead on the mostly friendly, bipartisan vibe in the South Boston breakfast hall – once a crucible where no politician left unscathed – calling the occasion a “love-in.”

“I’m going to have to bring back some of this love to Ireland to help us form a new government,” Humphreys said.

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