18 May 2011

Queen Arrives on Visit to Ireland

A notable visit.  First of all, it is the first time that the head of the British monarchy has ever set foot in the Republic of Ireland.  When QEII's grandfather visited over in 100 years ago in 1911, Ireland was still part of the British Empire.  Secondly, there is a clear message of reconciliation in the sites she is including on her tour.  Croake Park Stadium.  National War Memorial Gardens.  The Garden of Remembrance.  Dublin Castle.  She's also visiting some less-historically sensitive spots, like the Guinness Brewery, the Rock of Cashel and some equestrian stables.  Security measures are beyond maximum, exceeding what was done for the Pope's visit in 1979 and President Clinton in 1990. 
That everyone remembers that this now is not merely about hopes for the future but it is a way of establishing what has already been consolidated; that certain things have ended and that includes centuries of strife but there's no point in forgetting them.  She isn't just coming to shake hands with some babies and kiss people, she is going to go to those places, it is going to be recognised that there have been difficulties; those difficulties have ended, we must celebrate that....~ COLM TOIBIN

Also in Irish news, Obama has travel plans to the Emerald Isle next week and Moneygall, the village of his ancestors, is excited!  I love that the pub can hold 290 and the town's population is 300.  It sounds like "Waking Ned Devine".

1 comment:

  1. I saw this visit too, not that impressed with it after they gave the total $$ for protection for her. Granted it may be olive branch time but really , did she do that much good??, I just didn't know, maybe. I liked that they said no one was going to bow to her, she wasn't their ruler, only a dignitary. Love the Irish. :)