“Sticking your head in the sand is no good”

The Sinn Féin mayor of Cashel Town Council, Michael Browne, has been writing his own “next page” by officially greeting Queen Elizabeth II to the Rock of Cashel – to his party’s apparent surprise.  He did signal his endorsement of the visit beforehand.

As the Irish Independent reports

Mr Browne said he had made his position clear on the queen’s visit weeks beforehand. The 63-year-old had said he would welcome the queen to Cashel if the majority of the people in the town wanted him to do so.

He met the queen and Prince Philip in the vicar’s choral area of the Rock of Cashel yesterday morning just moments before they departed.

Mr Browne acknowledged that some of his party colleagues would have had a problem with him meeting the queen. “But my attitude was that you are elected by the people and for the people.

“I always made it clear that if a position ever arose where there is party before people — then the people will come first,” he said.

Mr Browne acknowledged that he was probably the first Sinn Fein representative to meet the queen in an official capacity.

“Sticking your head in the sand is no good,” he added.