Queen’s visit touches many sensitive nerves – VIDEO
The Queen’s historic visit to Ireland began today when the royal landed in South Dublin. Her visit marks the inaugural visit by a UK monarch to the Republic of Ireland, since gaining independence in 1921.
Throughout her official trip there will be constant reminders of Ireland’s civil war.
The Queen’s plane will touch down at Casement Aerodrome, which is named after Roger Casement, who was executed for treason in 1916, after been accused of conspiring with the Germans.
The Queen will then travel to Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance where she and the Irish President Mary McAleese will pay their respects to "all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish Freedom."
On to another national stadium, she will attend Croke Park, where British troops killed 14 people in November 1920, after opening fire on a crowd who were watching a GAA game.
The three decades of violence between the British Army, IRA and loyalists claimed the lives of more than 3,000 people, most of vthe ictims were in Northern Ireland.
The Good Friday agreement which was signed on April 10, 1998 effectively ended the conflict as terrorist groups on both sides of the conflict surrendered their weapons. However splinter groups have emerged and sporadic attacks have occurred.
Tony Harnden, who covered the Troubles for the Daily Telegraph told CNN that people have mixed opinions on the issue.
"Some Catholics will see this as Britain cementing its claim over the Irish territory of the six counties of Northern Ireland," Harnden told CNN. Meanwhile "the Protestants will see the queen's visit as ratification of a state that they believe is constitutionally hostile to any British presence in Ireland. So on both sides there'll be qualms."
"When I was there the IRA cease-fire had collapsed, there was violence and killings, no surrender, no compromise. In those days there was no likelihood of the queen ever visiting,” he added.
Roy Foster, professor of Irish history at Oxford University, said the Queen’s visit was long overdue.
"I think the visit is overdue and it seems to be the right time now," Foster told CNN. "Ireland needs some type of distraction, if not bread and circuses. The country is in a bad state: thanks to incompetent, corrupt and compromised politicians, criminal bankers and supine government regulators, we are now in hock to European financial institutions.
"I think the queen famously asked some representatives of the city of London, why did you not see all this financial meltdown happening, it would be quite amusing if she asked one of the Irish politicians that."
"Given these conditions imposed by our friends in Europe, the British look like better friends than the Germans these days," Foster added.
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