As Ireland prepares for the visit of Queen Elizabeth, the first reigning British monarch to visit the country since the foundation of the State, some of Ireland’s older generation who lived through “The Troubles” are not happy to see her majesty arrive.
“Conflicts are still unsolved. When they are rectified we can welcome her and give her a cup of tea, but she is not welcome at the moment” Tom Redmond (73) from Walkinstown told the Irish Times.
“It’s also hypocritical of the queen to visit the Garden Of Remembrance on the anniversary of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings; everybody in this town has a story of a relative who was killed or nearly killed when the British birds descended on Dublin," he added.
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“To quote Gerry Adams, I think the timing is particularly insensitive,” says Shay Courtney (63), a community worker from Rathfarnham referring to the fact that her arrival date is the anniversary of the Dublin/Monagahn bombings.
Margaret Byrne (59), from Donnybrook says she doesn’t have a problem with the Queen’s visit but doesn’t agree with the choice of venue.
“I don’t agree with her invitation to Croke Park. They are the grounds of an historical Irish massacre, and the queen should respect that,” she told the Irish Times referring to Bloody Sunday in 1920 when British troops opened fire at the stadium..
“I think there is still an awful lot of tension among the public,” said Aideen Griffin (29) Dublin, adding:
“Organisers need to be very careful . . . there are still a lot of crazies out there.”
Younger generations seem to be more optimistic about the upcoming visit with Donegal student
Oscar Noonan saying the Queen’s trip may attract tourists; “it will help Irish tourism and send out a positive message to the rest of the world,” he said.
Equally optimistic is Sean Murphy, a 49-year-old civil servant from Navan: “I think we have to bury the past and look forward. If we can welcome the English rugby team to Croke Park then we can also welcome the queen.”
“What happened 50, 60, 70 years ago shouldn’t matter today,” said Rose Higgins (45) from Galway.