Queen Elizabeth to visit Croke Park stadium
Headquarters of Irish Gaelic sports to host monarch
The Queen is to visit Croke Parknext month to watch exhibition hurling and football matches at the home of the GAA.
Queen Elizabeth will be guest of honor at the very ground where British troops shot 14 innocent players and spectators dead at the match in 1920.
Dublin schoolchildren will play in hurling and football matches in front of the Queen during her Royal visit in May, the first by any British monarch in a hundred years.
Croke Park is on a preliminary agenda for the visit currently being considered by Irish government and Buckingham Palace officials.
Historian Tim Pat Coogan believes the appearance of the English monarch at the home of the GAA will be hugely symbolic.
He told the Sunday Times: “They are obviously trying to make as friendly an overtone as possible.
“It is a visit drawn up in the era of John Major, Tony Blair and current Prime Minister David Cameron.
“With Croke Park, she would have been confronting Irish history head-on had the English rugby team not come in the meantime.
“That defanged the issue. I take it she won’t be throwing the ball in or showing how they play shinty at Balmoral.”
The Sunday Times reveals a number of potential destinations for Queen Elizabeth when she follows in the footsteps of her grandfather King George V who visited Ireland in 1911.
Senior government sources have hinted that the Queen will visit Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance, a memorial to those who died in the cause of Irish freedom, and the Islandbridge Gardens dedicated to the 49,000 Irish soldiers who died in the first World War.
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