Monday, February 27, 2006


Visit from Queen unlikely after violence

The Guards should have went at them full throttle I spotted an excellent point made by Henry McDonald in his latest column in The Guardian, a point that I and everyone else appear to have missed, which is that Saturday's violence in Dublin has made the proposed first state visit to the Republic by the British Queen a very remote possibility indeed. McDonald writes:

"If republicans could do this, and force the re-routing of the Love Ulster rally, what will they have in store for the British monarch when she comes to town?

"The Irish president, Mary McAleese, has paid several visits now to Buckingham Palace. There is said to be a friendly rapport between the two heads of state. McAleese has made no secret of her desire to see a royal visit to Dublin, the first since the Irish state was founded in 1921. Inside the Irish department of foreign affairs policy wonks have been hoping that the Queen in Dublin would send a powerful message to northern unionists, not only that the centuries old antipathy towards Britain has gone but that their British culture is respected by government and people south of the border.

"After Saturday's disturbances, which saw mobs attack the Irish police, journalists, cameramen, foreign tourists and property, the prospect of a groundbreaking royal visit this year must surely be remote. Although the Queen is hardly likely to parade down O'Connell Street in a golden coach, republicans, especially those in the dissident camp, will seize upon her mere presence in the capital as an opportunity to wreck Dublin, cause international headlines and mar the visit."

I think Mr McDonald is quite correct in his assessment, unfortunately for us. I myself have long looked forward to the first state visit by the British Queen as I've always felt it would go a long way in dispelling certain notions about the Republic. However in light of last weekend's violence, what are the odds such a visit will be risked?

'I was just telling Mary how I'm busy all year'
Let's see a state visit!

What a great shame if this is the case. No doubt this would be regarded as another 'victory' for the 'Republicans' however there are no victors in all of this. We all lose out.

Ireland has made great strides in recent years and we cannot let a minority spoil things for the rest of us. The Catholic Church possessed too much of an influence on Irish society for a long time however that stranglehold was broken, the same must happen with regard to the anti-British ignorant scum who ran amok two days ago in our nation's capital.

I hope the proposed visit by the Queen does indeed go ahead. Perhaps it would need to be quite low-key so as to avoid hassle from certain vile elements of Irish society but that would be better than no visit at all.

We cannot let a minority of bigots ruin the reputations of the rest of us.


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