President Mary McAleese gave generously of her time and attention this week to a group of students from the Jesuit Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. Accompanied by two Jesuits, Donal Doyle and Mike Milward, the students are currently on a visit to Ireland as part of their Irish Studies course. The trip is designed to give context and to add texture to their reading. The President spoke informally with the students in a wide-ranging discussion which covered such topics as the need for hope in a time of recession . ‘Life’, she told them, ‘is about a lot more than the economy’. Apart from visiting Áras an Uachtaráin, they have also been to the Mansion House, where they were received by Councillor Eibhlin Byrne, Lord Mayor of Dublin.