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Irish approve of Queen's visit

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Ireland wants the Queen to come back – and all but a small minority of the population was won over by the English monarch on her historic four day visit.

Just 48 hours after Queen Elizabeth told Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny that she would love to return, an opinion poll has revealed huge support for the Royal tour.

The Sunday Independent/Quantum research poll reveals that 95 percent of those polled said they thought the Queen had won the hearts of the Irish people with a series of symbolic gestures over the course of her stay.

The emotional wreath laying ceremony to the 1916 leaders at the Garden of Remembrance and her expression of sympathy for all victims of violence in Ireland’s mass went down well with the Queen’s hosts.

Even those who were uninterested in the visit before the Queen’s arrival revealed they were won over ‘by her exemplary attitude and the warmth she displayed’ at all times during her visit.

One male respondent told the Sunday Independent: “I’m a republican who voted Sinn Fein and I would say yes, most certainly, she won the hearts of the Irish people.”

A female respondent said: “It was a great moment for this country when the Queen addressed our nation in Irish at the opening of her speech, really wonderful.”

The Queen’s brief use of Irish at the Dublin Castle state dinner also went down well with those polled.

“I had my doubts but now I’m a believer!” said another respondent.

The unscheduled walkabout in Cork was the highlight of the tour for those who took part in the opinion poll.

Prince Philip, the Queen’s 89-year-old husband, also went down well in the poll with 92 percent saying they thought the Irish people liked him.

“I like Prince Philip. He’s a gamey old man,” said one female respondent.

“I think the Irish are the only country who actually get Prince Philip’s humor. He’s a gas man.”

A male respondent said of the Prince: “Maybe he was Irish in his last life and the joke about the Guinness and the Liffey. Sure who wouldn’t find that funny?”

Another said: “If anyone was going to like him, it would be the Irish, they get his sense of humor in a way other countries couldn’t.”

Of those polled, 89 percent said the visit of the Queen and Prince Philip had improved Ireland’s sense of national self-esteem.

“This is the most important thing that has happened to Ireland in a long, long time. The world was watching how it would go and thank God it went well. We should be proud,” said one.

Almost all those polled - 95 percent - said the visit would improve Anglo-Irish relations while 82 percent want to see the Queen return in the near future.

Some 18 percent don’t want to see her back as no future visit could surpass this trip, while 86 percent said the traffic problems related to the Queen’s stay were worth it.

Irish President Mary McAleese was also praised for her contribution to the series of events with 73 per cent of those polled stating she was “outstanding.”

“She really was outstanding from beginning to end. In fact, I think that the Constitution should be changed to allow her to be elected for another seven years,” a Dublin respondent told the paper.

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