Royal visit prelude to first to the Republic

The Queen and the Belfast born Irish President met in Northern Ireland today. Noel McAdam reads it as groundwork for a long anticipated Royal visit to the Republic, the first by a British head of state since independence. Not everyone is pleased.

The groundwork for the official visit – which would be the first by a British monarch since partition in 1921 – was being laid as the Queen and President carried out a series of engagements that included their first meeting on Irish soil, north or south of the border.

The two heads of state have already carried out their first formal function together – at a Co-operation North dinner in London during the summer. But not since George V and Queen Mary arrived at Dun Laoghaire in 1911, has a British monarch set foot south of the border.

While she was making no formal speech comment today, President McAleese has said the Irish and British governments have agreed the royal visit to Ireland should take place.

Over at ATW, Andrew McCann is livid.

  • Wonder if the topic of Nazis came up? 😉 I’m not livid – I’m cool. In the 21st century I see nothing wrong with the head of a Foreign State coming to Hillsborough. (…and before anyone asks, I’m referring to sweet Mary!)

  • Frank

    The time is not right for Liz to come to Dublin.
    Full stop !

  • seabhac siulach

    Yawn…how long has this groundwork been in the process of laying at this stage…if Mrs. Windsor (Saxe-Coburg) wishes to visit the 26 counties then why doesn’t she…it will be greeted by overwhelming apathy, in any case, by the general population…
    It means nothing.

  • James

    Yes, long overdue and a somewhat drawn out process. I find this whole thing more challenging when trying to both identify and belong to a constitutional monarchy democracy.

    Now picture this. An United Ireland that is not a Republic but part of the commonwealth. Not what we aspire to but it would have a lot of support amongst the pale.

  • Ringo

    Spot on SS. Only the fanatics at the margins will get worked up. When it happens it will be about as significant as Eminem’s visit.

    Was in Tesco in Bertieland – aka Drumcondra a couple of months ago when someone showed me a photo they have on the wall of Tony Blair enjoying (alright, he just had that grin/grimace on) a cup of tea with the staff and of course the man with the biggest club card account, Bert himself. I think it was the official opening of the shop, and not alone was it not beneath Bertie to do the opening, he clearly didn’t think it was below the PM’s station either. I can’t imagine that Tony has opened too many Tesco’s in Britain over the past decade.

  • Henry94

    James

    United Ireland that is not a Republic but part of the commonwealth.

    There are republics in the Commonwealth.

  • Ling

    SS

    “it will be greeted by overwhelming apathy, in any case, by the general population… ”

    As I remember Prince Charles was firly well revcieved, even got a snog off aul Bernie.

    I think a visit from the Queen to the Republic would show up the whinging children for who they are, and hopefully show up the rest of a maturing country for what it is too.

  • Paddy Matthews

    Over at ATW, Andrew McCann is livid.

    Over in the woods, bears are shitting.

  • Henry94

    This is what Andrew said in a wonderful display of self-parody

    Mary McAleese, is the President of the Republic of Ireland, who has taken it upon herself to enter UK territory without any of the proprieties conventionally adopted by foreign heads when visiting other states. It is said she will be in Belfast to see the Ulster premiere of Narnia. I trust that she will not get as far as Belfast; that she will be arrested at the border and deported to her own country until such time as she starts treating visits to UK soil like any other foreign head of state would have to do.

  • * Posted by James on Dec 08, 2005 @ 04:52 PM
    Not what we aspire to but it would have a lot of support amongst the pale.*

    What do you base this on? I would have thought that Dublin with it’s SF members of the Dail and Europ Parl wouldn’t have been too eager to sign up to a royalty / parasite headed commonwelth.

    I know in the leafy suburbs of McDowell-land things might be different but this doesn’t constitute the whole of the city in most Dubs reckoning. How do you define ‘the pale’?

  • seabhac siulach

    Ling:

    “As I remember Prince Charles was firly well revcieved, even got a snog off aul Bernie.”

    Yes, but there were not exactly welcoming crowds of well-wishers…he was received courteously as a guest, no differently than the Chinese leader, etc…

    Well, that is, apart the one trip when Mr. Bruton was Taoiseach. I think they had some trouble afterwards removing his lips from the prince’s backside…
    But then Mr. Bruton’s sympathies would be close to the very very small royalist fringe in the South (the Reform party and others). Which are, of course, completely over-represented in the media, especially in the Independent group, owned by SIR Tony O’Reilly…

    When she comes, everyone will let out a yawn, make a comment again about what an eejit Bertie is, or what a nice hat Mrs. Windsor has, and switch over to something more interesting.

    What is the big deal with this? She has already been in Ireland today…

  • “the President of the Republic of Ireland”

    President of Ireland actually.

    “I trust that she will not get as far as Belfast; that she will be arrested at the border and deported to her own country”

    This man has serious issues.

  • George

    I believe there was a crowd of around 30, mostly pensioners, on hand to welcome Ireland’s favourite Royal, Prince Charles, at the Mansion House in the mid 90s.

  • gf

    i dont think mrs winsdors visit would be appropriate.
    she means nothing to the irish.
    there is no good to be attained by this woman,who has robbed her own people for years along with her family,and their predecessors robbed ours.
    they never worked a day in their lives and never will have to.
    all because of our ancenstors blood.
    she does not deserve any respect from our people.
    she is nothing but the decendant of thieves.

  • *I believe there was a crowd of around 30, mostly pensioners, on hand to welcome Ireland’s favourite Royal, Prince Charles, at the Mansion House in the mid 90s.
    Posted by George on Dec 08, 2005 @ 06:35 PM*

    My how the times have changed – after Bloody Sunday the British Embassy was burned down; in the 90s Prince Charles, the Commander in Chief of the Parachute Regiment, is welcomed by an old folks home..!! Is this progress or apathy?

  • Brian Boru

    Let her come. We need to let bygones be bygones as far as she is concerned, as long as she doesn’t say something nasty.

  • Brian Boru

    Even if she is just getting all that money wasted on her by the State just because she is from a German family!

  • audley

    Nothing funnier than a bunch of unionists showing their subservience to a German monarch. Zieg heil!!

  • Keith M

    This visit is long overdue. The Queen has visited almost every English speaking country in the World except Ireland. Almost every EU head of state has visited this country. We need to show that relations between the countries have never been better. As BB says, it’s time to let bygones bee bygones and put the days when imbeciles burn embassies behind us.

  • Middle o’ the Road

    “it will be greeted by overwhelming apathy”

    I don’t think so but time will tell.

  • ‘and put the days when imbeciles burn embassies behind us. ‘

    Shut up. I want to see normalisation between these islands but if a state army kills 14 of its innocent supposed civilians then its liable to happen again. If we put those days behind us then i’m sure the embassy will be unharmed and welcome

  • Cameo

    then its liable to happen again

    Assuming you meant that such events are, in all probability, likely to happen again, I would disagree. Not because the state army to which you refer has had a dramatic change in heart or policy in dealing with such events but rather the world has moved on. We are not living in 1922, 72 or even 2002. Normalisation will happen when people realise this.

  • Martin T

    Im sure as far as middle aged women go Liz Winsor is quite nice –will she be visiting her former daughter in law Sarah Ferguson who more or less lives in counties Cork and Wicklow full time these days–goodness me the trivial things people get worked up about –well I hope she gets good weather and has a nice time–all tourists are welcome.

  • Cameo, these events haven’t the slightest chances of happening again, i was just pointing out that the burning didn’t occur in a vacuum and put some context to yet another cheapshot from Keith M, self-appointed RoI minister for offending republicans. We’ve all moved on apart from that guy it seems

  • J McConnell

    cladycowboy

    > …then its liable to happen again.

    So what’s your position on attacking Church of Ireland schools in Dublin again if the republicans succeed in engineering another massacre at some future date?

    It was n’t just the embassy in Merrion Square that was attacked back in ’72. Lots of schools and churches too. It seemed republican gurriers had absolutely no qualms about throwing bricks at 7 year old children whose only ‘crime’ was not being Catholic…

    That’s the wonderful non-sectarian South for you..

  • J McConnell

    read the 1:28 post and move on. Why don’t you take issue with Keith M post if you want to live in the past, doesn’t the murder of 14 boys and men equate to a burned school in your eyes?
    The nations who wouldn’t have had this reaction to a bloody sunday are few and far between.

    ‘So what’s your position on attacking Church of Ireland schools in Dublin again if the republicans succeed in engineering another massacre at some future date?’

    Disgraceful beyond belief and unfounded. Ireland’s very own Irving here

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Where were these churches and schools?

  • George

    J McConnell,

    Have you any numbers on churches and schools and where they were attacked? You say lots but there seems to a big silence about this in Dublin if it was as widespread as you say.

    Ironically, if they threw stones at Protestant schools in Dublin today, the chances are they would hit a seven-year-old Catholic.

    But that’s the enigmatic South for you…

  • Cameo

    Cladycowboy: Your reference to the RoI minister for offending republicans

    For what it is worth, this is my view. Take it or leave it.

    The Provos are not a true reflection of the Irish Republican ideal. Though they may see themselves as Republicans – they are not. Because they call them selves Republicans does not mean they are Republicans. No true, honourable Republican would be prepared to attack Garda officers and furthermore, Ireland has only one army.

    minister for offending republicans? I don’t think so. The Provos are an offence to all decent minded Irish men and women.

    32 counties.
    1 President
    1 Army

  • Cameo,

    Who the hell is saying that the provos are a true reflection of Irish republicanism? Certainly not me so you may have confused me with someone else, or perhaps in your mind mentioning bloody sunday=PIRA. Address me on what i actually say not what you have already formulated in your mind please.

    Any ‘true’ irish republican would have taken offence more to the slaying of 14 citizens of its envisaged republic before the burning of mythical mcconnell schools however unwelcome both acts were

  • *Lots of schools and churches too. It seemed republican gurriers had absolutely no qualms about throwing bricks at 7 year old children whose only ‘crime’ was not being Catholic…
    That’s the wonderful non-sectarian South for you..
    Posted by J McConnell on Dec 09, 2005 @ 01:36 PM*

    I’m not familiar with these attacks. Can you please post some details?

    how were these gurriers considered by society. Were these stone throwers and attackers of children consulted by elected members of state in the mode of Nigel Dodds’ rapport with the Holy Cross assailants?

    Before you mention ‘whataboutery’ can I mention ‘stone throwers in glasshouses’

  • Cameo

    cladycowboy

    Who the hell is saying that the Provos are a true reflection of Irish republicanism?

    Wind your neck back in! In my view, too many people seem happy to buy in to the Provo hype and spin so you shouldn’t be surprised that when you sing from the same hymn sheet as they do, people suspect you attend the same Church!

    As for Address me on what i actually say . I did.

    In my original posting I cited and took issue with your initial comment and here it is again

    -“ RoI minister for offending republicans

    Who are these Republicans?

    -“I want to see normalisation between these islands but if a state army kills 14 of its innocent supposed civilians then its liable to happen again

    By -liable – do you mean –likely-? If this is in fact the point you initially intended to put across then I would disagree. Get out of 1920s Ireland and try stepping in to the 21st century!

  • ‘Wind your neck back in! In my view, too many people seem happy to buy in to the Provo hype and spin so you shouldn’t be surprised that when you sing from the same hymn sheet as they do, people suspect you attend the same Church!’

    Wait a minute either we are speaking at crossroads or you’re being obtuse, i only mentioned Bloody sunday to put in context a Keith M post. This revisionist choir is drowning out any real or imaginary provo hymn sheet. When i state that an embassy was burnt as a result of the shooting dead of 14 of your countrymen, am i not stating fact but merely singing from a provo hymn sheet? Bollix.

    ‘Who are these Republicans?’

    er, republicans, i can’t name them all, you know the man/woman who works, plays, enjoys a drink, doesn’t kill anybody and wants a united Ireland, this island is full of them…

    ‘By -liable – do you mean –likely-? If this is in fact the point you initially intended to put across then I would disagree. Get out of 1920s Ireland and try stepping in to the 21st century!’

    Likely. However, like you i find this chain of events happening again unlikey as i state in my 1:28 post. I live and think in the 21st century, i ‘stepped ‘ into the 20thC to contextualise the cheapshot comments of a poster who lives there, take issue with him and not me. Like most cameos you’re confusing the main story here

  • <b>Cameo</b>

    As an Irish Republican, I can see a state visit from Elizabeth II for what it is. Given that ”The two heads of state have already carried out their first formal function together” I see this as an example of mature and sensible politics on the international stage. Events such as this would, in my opinion, suggest a willingness for greater normalisation.

    I take issue with so-called Republicans who only seem able to shoot the cause of Irish Unity in the foot. This Provo styled Irish Republican has only ever served to damage and bring shame on our country. They have done nothing to unite Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter and the sooner more people realise this, the closer we will be to a truly peaceful form of Irish unity.

    32 counties
    1 Army

  • J McConnell

    My guess is that the media did not give too much coverage of the various sectarian attacks in the south during those terrifying few week in early ’72. Not being a regular newspaper reader at the time I cannot say for certain..

    What I do know is that in the part of Northside I lived in there were attacks on quite a few schools and churches, ranging from petty vandalism, broken windows, slogans daubed on walls etc, up to running attacks lasting a few hours over several days on a primary school and its students with stones, bottles and other missiles. In the case of the primary school the attacks only ceased on the third day when a Garda car was parked outside the front-gate.

    So when a poster makes a reference, no matter how ill-thought out, to burning the UK embassy again, dont be too surprised that for some of us the most searing memory of those terrible times was the day ones best friend barely escaped getting hit in the head with a brick thrown by some gurrier chanting IRA slogans..

  • ‘I take issue with so-called Republicans who only seem able to shoot the cause of Irish Unity in the foot. This Provo styled Irish Republican has only ever served to damage and bring shame on our country.’

    take issue with them then and not me

  • ‘So when a poster makes a reference, no matter how ill-thought out, to burning the UK embassy again, dont be too surprised that for some of us the most searing memory of those terrible times was the day ones best friend barely escaped getting hit in the head with a brick thrown by some gurrier chanting IRA slogans.. ‘

    this is my last on this. JMcC, i only stated my belief that if there was another bloody sunday there could be another embassy burning.Neither is welcome. I think another bloody sunday is almost impossible so the British embassy will be safe and welcome in Dublin. I’m sorry for how you and your friend felt when your friend was attacked senselessly, perhaps you could empathize with the relatives of the dead derrymen

  • cameo

    cladycowboy my previous posting directly at you

    As is my right, I take issue with self-confessed, unapologetic Provos as well as well as those who sing from their hymn sheet. Doubtless I will go to my grave holding this view.

  • Cameo

    07:41 posting should have begun;-

    cladycowboy my previous posting was not posted directly at you

  • cameo

    ‘cladycowboy my previous posting directly at you

    As is my right, I take issue with self-confessed, unapologetic Provos as well as well as those who sing from their hymn sheet. Doubtless I will go to my grave holding this view.’

    If it wasn’t directed at me then its an issue that doesn’t belong on this thread, this thread has nothing to do with provos.
    I repeat that if stating that the british embassy was burnt down because of bloody sunday is ‘singing from the provo hymn sheet’ then revisionism has won its battle. The british embassy was burnt down by Irish civilians as irish civilians had just been killed by the british army. Fact now, fact then, whether Gerry Adams or Tony Blair says the words the fact remains, i’m sure Hitler said ‘I love you’to his partner, should we all stop saying that because he did?

  • Nathan

    Considering that her predecessors used to run the place, isn’t it a tad bit demoralising for this particular British HofS to visit – after all, the Irish Republic has now made great strides to secure its place in the world as a self-confident nation – I doubt the Queen will be allowed to by-pass that fact, if the politicians consent to such a visit.

    In any case, I believe a formal state visit is long overdue. Independent Ireland has gone from strength to strength (only recently, mind you), since it decomtaminated itself from the trappings of monarchy. I think its about time the old lady saw with her own eyes, the sheer progress that has been made in her absence.

  • Republican Gurrier

    FTQ

  • Martin

    Surely Republicans have everything to gain and nothng to lose by such a visit? People who are republican because of a genuine desire for a peaceful and united Ireland, and not becuase they enjoy nursing historical grudges and wallowing in victimhood, should realise that anyone trying to pursuade any part of the unionist community that they are serious about affording unionism respect in a united Ireland should bend over backwards to show respect (and by respect I don’t mean forelock tugging or kowtowing – there is a difference) to a person who by definition means a lot to unionist culture. Any disrepect or historical points scoring, on these boards or on the streets of Dublin, may well massage republican and reinforce republican identity ego but is just dumb politics that will in no way facilitate unity.

  • Cameo

    cladycowboy

    My previous post does belong here as it is clearly the Provos who don’t want to see Elizabeth II in Ireland, whatever the occasion.

    I agree with the President who has said a royal visit to Ireland should take place. Sadly it will be the provo who will try to make political ground on this issue and, in doing so, set back anglo-irish relations.

    As is my right, I still take issue with self-confessed, unapologetic Provos. They have made no positive contribution to Irish Unity and if anybody is attemting to re-write Irish history, it is them.

  • brayo

    J McConnell

    as per usual, your assertions of sectatian goings on in the republic are based on your own warped sectarian mindset and nothing else. Not a shred of evidence have you? you never do when you post this type of muck.

  • Brian Boru

    “It was n’t just the embassy in Merrion Square that was attacked back in ‘72. Lots of schools and churches too. It seemed republican gurriers had absolutely no qualms about throwing bricks at 7 year old children whose only ‘crime’ was not being Catholic…

    That’s the wonderful non-sectarian South for you..”

    J McConnell, there were no such attacks related to 1972 of a sectarian nature. In any country, you get vandals but that does not mean sectarianism is the motive. I recall 10 years ago when vandals ransacked St.Michan’s church including the crypt and kick around dead body heads etc. from the Famine period which was truly horrific but that can hardly be considered related to what religion you are as these victims were Catholic. When there is disorder unfortunately some take advantage of it to commit vandalism as the forces of law an order are distracted. Personally I am extremely suspicious of what you are saying though because I have never read about it.

    My underlying suspicion is that what you are talking about never happened. I do know however that 13 innocent people were butchered by the Brits in 1972.

  • Martin

    Can someone explain to me how a post about a proposed state visit turned into mudslinging about Bloody Sunday and what may or may not have happened in Dublin thereafter? Maybe a new “play the post” rule is necessary? All of this was horrible but history. The post was about the future and I think it would be more constructive to discuss what could be rather than argue about what was or was not.

  • Nathan

    “The post was about the future and I think it would be more constructive to discuss what could be rather than argue about what was or was not.”

    It is only right that Brian has countered the totally unfair, unsubstantiated comments being thrown about by Mr O’Connell. Considering that there has been episodes of isolated sectarianism in the past towards southern protestants, there is little need whatsover for Mr O’Connell to rely upon that creative mind of his, to prove a point.

    By the way Brian, St Michan’s contains the mummified bodies of two executed United Irishmen, John and Henry Sheares. The funeral of Charles Stewart Parnell was conducted there as well, so I’d imagine that the 4-year old girl from the 1800s who had her dead head kicked about a few years back, was Anglican.

  • Henry94

    Martin

    You’re right.

    I think there are only two small minorities who would get excited about the Queen of England visiting Dublin that is dissisdent republicans and the reform “movement”.

    For most people it would have zero impact.

  • J McConnell

    Brian Boru

    The difference between you and me is that I was there and you were not.

    Many things that happened in the South back then did not get reported, just like in the North. Just as many things that happen today in the South do not get reported either.

    That’s just the way the media works.

    What happened in the South during the late 60’s and early ’70’s was very mild, almost trivial, compared to what was going on up the North, or what had happened during the early ’20’s in the South. But it did happen and the nasty undertow has always being there.

    That’s just the way it is and there is no point pretending otherwise.

  • J McConnell

    Nathan

    I fully agree that we should get back to a more forward looking discussion. I merely brought up the other subject because of a throw-away line by another poster. Unpleasant thing happened in the South too.

    The fact that the idea of a royal visit is being seriously planned is a sign of just how much the profoundly regressive political culture of the south has progressed in the last generation. The fact that we still hear the same old bleating from the same old protagonists a sign of how far will still have to go.

    If those who care about the visit are allowed to participate and enjoy the experience unmolested and unabused, and those who dont care about the visit ignore it with quite indifference, then I think it will be a real sign that a new level of political maturity in the country has been reached.

  • Martin

    If those who care about the visit are allowed to participate and enjoy the experience unmolested and unabused, and those who dont care about the visit ignore it with quite indifference, then I think it will be a real sign that a new level of political maturity in the country has been reached.

    Amen to that.

  • Nathan

    Mr McConnell (my sincere apologies for the surname mix-up)

    Thank you for your swift return to the topic of this thread.

    The fact that the idea of a royal visit is being seriously planned is a sign of just how much the profoundly regressive political culture of the south has progressed in the last generation.

    Nothing has been made concrete about a royal visit as of yet. The media have simply latched themselves onto an idea which they’ve recycled in the papers time and time again. Such articles however, are devoid of substance – mere speculation without an ounce of comment from the Irish government.

    The fact that we still hear the same old bleating from the same old protagonists a sign of how far will still have to go.

    I too am hoping that the Dublin Against Royal Tour (DART) group will diminish in size, should the event proceed in the near future. The ‘protagionists’ that peacefully protested during the Prince Charles of Wales visit included the outlawed Militant Labour, the Jekyll’s from Sinn Fein- the Northern Ireland variety, Republican Sinn Fein, the Irish National Congress, the Socialist Workers Movement, as well as members of the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign group. Considering that alot of these were imported from Derry, it is more accurate to say that these lot were not homegrown. They were merely interlopers from the North who fancied a day out. Nevertheless, they didn’t get up to much mischief in another persons country, which is the main point to gauge from all this.

    If those who care about the visit are allowed to participate and enjoy the experience unmolested and unabused, and those who dont care about the visit ignore it with quite indifference, then I think it will be a real sign that a new level of political maturity in the country has been reached.

    You make good comments when you put your mind to it.

  • Southern Observer

    Mr. McConnell,
    [i]Many things that happened in the South back then did not get reported, just like in the North. Just as many things that happen today in the South do not get reported either.[/i]

    -the standard mantra of the utterer of non-evidenced-based assertions.
    I was in Dublin at the time too.I heard nothing and saw nothing.

    It strikes me that you are hiding behind the smokescreen of facile anecdotalism.
    I find it inconceivable that events such as you describe could have occurred without their going on the historical record.Please outline the historical record.

  • J McConnell

    Southern Observer

    Suppose I give you all the details – the dates, times, the school, the name of the principal, the teachers, students, etc. would that change your opinion? I dont think so. You would probably just say I was making that information up too.

    There had been sporadic attacks of vandalism on this particular school during the previous few years, and occasional verbal abuse of the students, nothing too unusual or unique in that given the location of the school, but the week I speak of in early 1972 was the first time I am aware of that there was any sustained violence and it quickly abated once the guards started sitting outside the front gate.

    Not long afterward the school did move to a less exposed position not too far away and has remained at the new location ever since. I dont know how much the events of early ’72 precipitated the move to another location but it may have been a factor.

    I only made reference to that particular incident because someone made a quip about burning down the British embassy again. For me, and what I remember of that week, what happened in Merrion Sq was just part of a larger wave of violence, both actual and threatened, which deeply scared and frightened people I knew.

    I have been fascinated by the responses to my original post. It seems to have really touched a raw nerve. Is it because sectarian violence is only supposed to happen in the North, not the South? Is it because only Protestants can be the perpetrators, not the victims of attacks? Is it because of the overwhelming culture in the South of not talking about any subject that may make the country look bad? Or is it because the story undermines some of the moral high ground of people used to grandstanding as victims of oppression?

    Its hard to say. It just seems to be yet another of those taboo subject in the South. Something you are just not supposed to talk about..

  • spartacus

    Keith M

    Your usual offering: the clumsy attempt to airbrush the past in the name of tolerance. ‘Imbeciles’ will stop burning Embassies when the troops commaned by said Embassies stop shooting unarmed people in the back. Tell you what: hang out the bunting and have her over for tea yourself. You deserve each other.

  • Keith M

    spartacus, I’m not air brushing anything. I’m simply pointing for how far relations have come in the last ten years.

    As an aside, for me attacking embassies is never justified no matter what the circumstances (as its an atttack on the sovreign territory of another country) and its the kind of behaviour that we associate with banana republics.

    As it happens I’m neither a monarchist nor a tea drinker, but when have you ever let the facts get in the way of a rant?

  • Southern Observer

    I remanin unconvinced.As the saying goes:
    ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence’

  • Southern Observer

    I remain unconvinced.As the saying goes:
    ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence’