Politicians from both sides of the Irish Sea have hailed the immediate impact of Queen’s visit and praised the wreath laying ceremony at the Garden of Remembrance.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and British Foreign Minister William Hague have both said they were moved when the Queen laid a wreath in honor of Ireland’s rebel leaders on Tuesday.
“The events on Tuesday represent a symbolism beyond words,” said the Irish leader Kenny.
“The way the Queen bowed her head after she laid the wreath was exceptionally powerful.”
Kenny had earlier lunched with the Queen at President Mary McAleese’s residence in the Phoenix Park and was joined at the Garden of Remembrance event by former Prime Ministers Brian Cowan, Bertie Ahern and Albert Reynolds.
Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore also singled out events in the Garden of Remembrance for special mention when he hosted a joint press conference with British counterpart Hague.
“The scenes we have witnessed in the Garden are about moving on from the pages of history,” said Gilmore, leader of the Labor Party.
“The visit is also about moving on from our recent economic history. That is the project of the Government - that we move on and rebuild our economy and our reputation.”
Hague was also of the view that that the wreath-laying ceremony at the Garden of Remembrance was an important and intentional statement.
“It speaks to the past, but it does show that we’re able to move on to the future, and make the most of normal relationships with friendly neighbors,” said the former Conservative Party leader.
“This visit involves a great deal of recognition of the past and there is no glossing over of this past.
Acknowledging the events of the past while showing how the two countries are moving on is the right approach, rather than seeing thing in terms of an apology.
“The Queen has made over 300 overseas visits but this one is particularly special because it involves Britain’s nearest neighbor and one of our most important trading partners.
“It marks the transformation of the relationship between Britain and Ireland in recent years, the strength of our economic, political and family ties and the progress that has been made in Northern Ireland.”