The Queen of England has laid a wreath in honor of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising at Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance.
Just hours after she landed at Casement Aerodrome, the British monarch visited the monument to those who led Ireland’s rebellion against English rule.
The hugely significant gesture came against a backdrop of unprecedented security measures in the Irish capital.
The British and Irish national anthems were played by the Army Band and a minute’s silence was observed in memory of those who fought and died for Irish freedom.
Accompanied by her husband Prince Phillip and Irish President Mary McAleese, the Queen was dignified and respectful through the 20 minutes she spent at the Garden, built in 1966 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1916 Rising.
Justice Minister Alan Shatter and former Irish Prime Ministers Bertie Ahern and Albert Reynolds were present in the Garden of Remembrance.
The Queen left the Garden of Remembrance to visit Trinity College where she will receive a private tour of the Long Hall and view the Book of Kells.
Earlier today she had lunch at the President Mary McAleese’s residence in the Phoenix Park and planted an oak tree in the grounds of Aras an Uachtarain to commemorate the peace process.
The wreath laying ceremony at the Garden of Remembrance took place despite a number of protests in the area staged by dissident Republican sympathisers with some chants audible to the Royal party.
The Eirigi group attracted just a hundred protestors to their march on Parnell Street after a sit-down protest on the main O’Connell Street thoroughfare.
Irish police made two arrests during minor scuffles on O’Connell Street before the Eirigi protestors moved to lay a wreath on the Moore Street site where the 1916 leaders made their last stand.
The socialist Republican group released a number of black balloons to symbolise their opposition to the visit.
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