Elizabeth II begins state visit to Ireland amid protests, security fears
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
|It is 100 years since a British monarch has been in Ireland. Many thought a king or queen would never be welcomed back.
Ireland and yesterday laid a wreath at the in , which commemorates who fought for . The tour comes amid protests by republicans and a massive security crackdown—this morning the destroyed a on a bus destined for the capital described as "viable".has begun the first state visit by a British monarch to
, the , greeted Elizabeth—wearing a outfit—and her husband, the , when she arrived at after landing at yesterday morning. The and the flew above the home of the president; Elizabeth was welcomed with a flypast and .
After lunch, she was shown the United Kingdom.—an ancient manuscript containing the of the —at . Arriving at the Garden of Remembrance shortly afterwards, she bowed her head stood for a after laying a wreath to remember Irish republicans who fought for independence against British rule. The laying of the wreath is seen as a hugely symbolic moment in the first visit to the country by a British monarch since 1911, when travelled to Ireland while it was still part of the
While most of Ireland seems to support the visit by the head of the British monarchy, the military and the London also warned on Monday they had received a bomb threat, which, according to sources, was from republican dissidents and was written in code.have launched the largest security operation in the history of the country amid fears republican dissidents might launch an attack. More than 6,000 police and soldiers have been deployed in Dublin, and much of the city has been closed off. On Monday night, a bomb—described as "viable"—was found in the luggage compartment of a bus in . All the passengers were evacuated from the bus and the Irish army later performed a on the device to make it safe. Police in
Hundreds of republican protesters opposed to the IRA, said. "Resistance to that presence just like the presence of the English Queen will continue."clashed with Garda on the streets of Dublin yesterday, throwing cans, bottles and at police lines. Riot officers fought off demonstrators throwing bricks, and 21 protesters were arrested. "Whatever the turnout the problem in Ireland has not gone away, namely the British presence in the north of our country," , a prominent republican dissident and a former chief of staff at the
The visit is to last four days, during which time Elizabeth is to visit BBC reporter, said. "Whatever the security concerns, this has been a landmark moment in Dublin. In truth, it's one that most people living in Ireland today thought they would never see.", a football stadium where British forces fired on football supporters in 1920 during the , killing 14 players and spectators. She is also to travel to to see the and will see the in County Kildare. Although there have been small demonstrations, journalists in Ireland say the mood is largely supportive of the visit. "It was one small step for the Queen—one huge moment in British-Irish history. It is 100 years since a British monarch has been in Ireland. Many thought a king or queen would never be welcomed back," , a
- "Police warn of possible bomb threat in central London" — Wikinews, May 16, 2011
- "Irish state visit: The Queen in green" — , May 18, 2011
- "Queen lays wreath on Republic of Ireland state visit" — , May 17, 2011
- Eoin Burke-Kennedy. "Queen Elizabeth lays wreath at Garden of Remembrance" — , May 17, 2011
- "Protests as Queen lays historic wreath" — , May 17, 2011
- Lucy Wilkins, Julian Joyce. "Queen's vist to Ireland: Day one as it happened" — , May 17, 2011
- Henry McDonald. "Queen lays wreath for dead republicans on Ireland visit" — , May 17, 2011