“the crowning moment in the peace process”?

Both Buckingham Palace and the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, have announced the itinerary for the State visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Ireland, from Tuesday 17th to Friday 20th May.  The first by a UK monarch since 1911.

The programme will include a formal welcome by President McAleese at áras an Uachtaráin, a ceremony at the Garden of Remembrance, a courtesy call on the Taoiseach at Government Buildings and a State dinner in Dublin Castle, at which both The Queen and the President will deliver speeches.

The programme will also include events at Trinity College Dublin, at the National War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge, at the Guinness Storehouse and at Croke Park.

A return event celebrating The Queen’s visit will be hosted by the Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Ireland.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will also visit the Irish National Stud in Kildare as well as Cashel in County Tipperary, and Cork.

There’s been some predictable local reactions from some.  Although there’s a differently worded reaction, than the one the BBC offer, from Gerry Adams, TD, on the Sinn Féin website…  [Adds – I should note that the reactions quoted by the BBC are from March when the visit was initially announced.  Still, interesting that Sinn Féin are adopting a noticeably harder line/tone now.]

And this from the GAA

The GAA is pleased to have been asked to receive Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by President McAleese, at our headquarters in Croke Park and to showcase our stadium and facilities to the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and their accompanying party. We believe that this request reflects and acknowledges the special place of the GAA in the life and history of the nation.

We are confident that this historic visit to Croke Park will be welcomed by those who play, administer and support our games, at home and abroad, including of course throughout Britain. We hope also that it will encourage a greater interest and participation in our games by our fellow Irishmen and women of the Unionist tradition.

The visit to Croke Park will provide the Uachtarán of Cumann Lúthchleas Gael with the opportunity to convey to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh a sense of the history and values of the Gaelic Athletic Association, and its unique and leading place in Irish society.

In the best traditions of our Association, we will extend a warm welcome to Croke Park – a Céad Míle Fáilte – to Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by the President and Dr. McAleese.

But perhaps the earlier noted political reactions have to do with the symbolic end of the limited “politics of peace” stage of our current ‘indigenous’ arrangements – as the Guardian’s Wintour and Watt blog notes
A visit by the Queen to the Irish Republic has always been seen (excuse the pun) as the crowning moment in the peace process that sets the seal on the full normalisation in relations between the United Kingdom and the Irish Republic.

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  • Thats twice in a month I have to go away. The wedding of Harry and Kate Middleclass means I have to go away for a day.
    But this “visitation” means I have to go somewhere where I wont see anything of it. Few days in London maybe.

  • Mark

    The crowning moment in the peace process …. some Pete Baker dark humour .

  • perseus

    It’ll be fine fitzy, so long as DoE doesn’t gaffe.

    Hope the Queen does lay a wreath to the irish soldiers who dies for freedom.
    Irish independence like India, Canada, USA etc
    is and were legitimate aspirations in post-colonial times
    .
    I mean we don’t regard 4th July as a celebration of anti-British terrorist-apologist insurrectionists do we ?
    No its American day of Indepenence.

    same with auld Ireland

  • Pete Baker

    Focus, guys.

    There’s more in the original post than the headline…

  • Alf

    It’s a perfect time for the Republic of Ireland to be mature enough to welcome the head of state of the United Kingdom.

  • perseus

    there’s alot of bonhomie peter, as you’d expect.
    GAA appears to be chilling-out, reciprocal gestures
    of goodwill and so on.
    Gerard Adams – crown bailiff.. oh stop perseues .
    Seems to be the odd one out here, growling and grinding on his molars. but that’s just passing wind really. who cares?

    This is historic, and I hope it goes dignified, respectful.
    Its not the time to arguements for and against monarchy.

    The upcoming marriage of Kate and Will has so much coverage,
    it is as one suspended vicar says:
    ” a load of nauseating tosh”

    perhaps this visit will stand in contrast and grab the headlines for the right reasons;
    expanding some of the heartfelt cultural and political embraces;
    we’ve seen recently over the tragedy of PC Kerr,
    esp amongst ordinary people vis-a-vis Nolan’s show.

  • George

    “It’s a perfect time for the Republic of Ireland to be mature enough to welcome the head of state of the United Kingdom.”

    And a perfect time for the Queen to show that a British head of state is finally mature enough to lay a wreath in memory of the fallen IRA at Ireland’s Garden of Remembrance.

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    From the Gerry Adams link: “It is widely believed that the Dublin and Monaghan bombings were carried out with the involvement of and direction of British military intelligence.”

    It is also widely believed that Gerry Adams was a PIRA commander and has been implicated in the murders of Jean McConville as well as those on Bloody Friday and at La Mon. Pot. Kettle. Black.

    The GAA are displaying a grown up attitude to the Queen’s visit. Gerry really does need to try and keep up.

  • Alf

    “And a perfect time for the Queen to show that a British head of state is finally mature enough to lay a wreath in memory of the fallen IRA at Ireland’s Garden of Remembrance.”

    George,

    Would that include the versions of the IRA that murdered her relatives and tried to murder her?

    That is the sort of confusion that is the legacy of the ROI government’s inability to divorce itself from the terrorism that was carried out by its founders.

  • George

    Alf,
    odd how you speak of maturity but ironically still have so much growing up to do yourself.

    Thankfully the British head of state is displaying a grown up attitude which is why she is being welcomed so heartily.

  • Driftwood

    It’ll be a walk in the park, literally. Of more interest to the horsey set (of which my partner is involved) than the proles.
    Final glue on the airfix kit ‘British Isles-These Islands’

    Suspect most people under 40 will have no interest, apart from the racing fraternity. Like having a great aunt round for (a final) dinner. let’s get it over with.

  • RNU Deplore British Head of State’s Visit

    The Republican Network for Unity (RNU) deplore the planned visit to Ireland by the head of the British Armed Forces, war criminal, Elizabeth Windsor.

    This visit is a travesty of justice for the men, women and children who were murdered by the hands of the British Armed Forces in occupied Ireland. The British war machine and its ongoing occupation of Ireland must be stopped in its tracks and held accountable for its heinous war crimes committed against the Irish people. Any visit from a British Royal, especially those who are the head of the British Armed Forces, should be fiercely opposed by all those who value freedom, justice and human rights in this country.

    It is also inconceivable to believe that in a time when thousands of working class communities across the country are living in states of degradation and poverty and at the same time paying for a crippled economy, a British Royal is to be welcomed onto Irish soil at the expense of the tax-payer to the tune of 8 million Euro.

    RNU call on ALL Republicans and Socialists across the Nation to mobilise and in honour of our gallant martyrs, plan ahead and counteract against this despicable visit by the head of the British Armed Forces.

  • wee buns

    ”Had I a forelock to tug”
    Title from my forthcoming book of poems on May.

  • perseus

    you got the drift driftwood:
    horsies, corgi’s, tea parties , cakes and buns
    comments on the “marvellous scenery”
    DofE muzzled ” no we can’t shoot the natives anymore” whispers an aide.
    ArdEoin good luck in getting a life
    RNU statement is as usual “Sad as Hell itself “

  • Alias

    The Queen is welcome but will somebody please lock the insufferable Mary McAleese in the Park for the duration of it? The thought of listening to that awful woman droning about ‘Irish, British or Both’ has spoiled the visit for me before it has even begun…

  • joeCanuck

    ..war criminal, Elizabeth Windsor

    When will the members of the Irish branch of the Tooting Popular Front
    put their childish games away?

  • Henry94

    Are many loyalists likely to travel south to greet the Queen? I hope any Celtic/Rangers type unpleasantness isn’t going to feature.

    The fact that she is going to Croke Park means an apology for the first Bloody Sunday is very likely. You wait years for a Bloody Sunday apology then two arrive together.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “The Queen is welcome but will somebody please lock the insufferable Mary McAleese in the Park for the duration of it? The thought of listening to that awful woman droning about ‘Irish, British or Both’ has spoiled the visit for me before it has even begun…”

    Mary Mc Aleese, much to the chagrin of her detractors, became the President of Ireland due to her own abilities and hard work. This was endorsed by the democratic will of the people of the 26 counties.
    When faced with the unenviable task of greeting the inbred Anglo/German with the dysfunctional family she should hold her nose and get on with it.

  • gréagóir o frainclín

    Adams is a political opportunist. He is no more than a shallow mouthpece.

    Ironic that the Queen of England will be paying her respects by laying a wreath to all those, mainly the 1916ers and the I.R.A., who died for Irish freedom. Good too that she will pay her respects to all those Irish folk that fought for the British army during the Great War (WWI) when we were a part of the empire.

    Gas to see that some cranky, thick, ignorant folk from this island think that the Queen of England holds political weight when in fact all she is is a figure head, a symbol, a constitutional monarch, when in fact the P.M. calls the shots and he has already apologised for the Bloody Sunday massacre.

  • perseus

    pointless and thoughtless coment alias; ignorant too
    the woman is highly qualified.
    showing yer snobbish colours again.. tut tut !

  • Zachariah Tiffins Foot

    How will the Queen be able to spare the time away from the day job at Loughside plotting the downfall of the croppies to travel south?

    Perhaps she’ll be using the time to collect info on any protestors that show up? Make sure you get the balaclabbers on early boyos!

  • tacapall

    gréagóir o frainclín

    “Gas to see that some cranky, thick, ignorant folk from this island think that the Queen of England holds political weight when in fact all she is is a figure head, a symbol, a constitutional monarch, when in fact the P.M. calls the shots and he has already apologised for the Bloody Sunday massacre”.

    You’re obviously a West Brit or you just dont know your history, the commenter is talking about a different Bloody Sunday – Bloody Sunday, Croke Park 1920.

  • The Raven

    “Suspect most people under 40 will have no interest”

    ….as so many of them don’t have any interest in inquiries, Troubles, etc. I’d be interested to see the demographic on the main commenters on this site. I’d say so very few of them fall into the under-40’s age range.

    20 years from now…who’ll care about any of it? And that can only be a good thing.

  • gréagóir o frainclín

    tacapall,

    Do you mean to be insulting by calling me a ‘West Brit’. LOL

    Take your balaclava off or at least cut some holes in so as you can see and hear more clearly.

    The point I made is that some very misinformed wannabe ‘republican’ folk, probably like yourself, hold the old woman that is the British head of state and mere figurehead (as well as her relatives) responsible for the actions of both Bloody Sunday’s when in fact it the blame lies clearly with the British governments.

  • Brian

    I don’t want her here, but I don’t really care that much.

    My main concern is how much money is the ROI paying for this? We don’t have any goddamn money. We don’t need any pageantry unless it inolves guillotining the idiots who gauranteed the banks with taxpayer bailouts.

  • gréagóir o frainclín

    That’s a fair point Brian. I initially thought the same too. But then I considered the profile of Ireland on the world stage. How such a visit will be viewed by folk around the world. This is an enormous boost for our tourism industry and an enormous boost and endorsement of our Irish identity as opposed to a ‘British’ identity. Mam is visiting Ireland as an equal, we are no longer her ‘subjects’. Too bad disgruntled folk can’t see the wider picture. Too bad some folk would want to cause a furore over the visit, ignorant to the fact that they are only fullfilling the age old stereotype of us Irish being generally ‘uncivilised’, ‘violent’ and ‘thick’.

    It’s a great gesture by the GAA to welcome her to their ‘jewel in the crown’ that is Croke Park.

  • Alf

    “You’re obviously a West Brit or you just dont know your history, the commenter is talking about a different Bloody Sunday – Bloody Sunday, Croke Park 1920.”

    Tapacall,

    That Bloody Sunday was not all one sided. Will McAleese be apologising for the murders of British people on that day?

    That would show maturity.

  • pippakin

    She comes, she goes, who is it really going to bother? The cost is an aspect of some concern but not much. If the government were not wasting money on the Queens visit they would be wasting it somewhere else.

  • Alias

    “When faced with the unenviable task of greeting the inbred Anglo/German with the dysfunctional family she should hold her nose and get on with it.”

    Well, that gave me a laugh, anyway…

    At the end of the day, we’re closest to the British out of all of our ‘European partners’ and the British feel the same way about the Irish.

    She is the head of their State and we ought to accord her due respect in that capacity, since to do otherwise is to show disrepect to our nearest neighbours. That’s never good practice or policy. The other issues, many highly valid, will just have to come second to that.