The last thing the new Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny needs is a state visit to Ireland by Queen Elizabeth of Britain and her husband, Prince Philip.

Alas. the trip was announced on Friday making it impossible for Kenny to avoid it.

The visit will pit those who believe that an Irish Republic should not welcome a British monarch against those who believe that Ireland has moved far past the point where it really matters.

It is a combustible mix.

A few years back an Orange group from Northern Ireland thought it was safe to march in Dublin and found themselves run out of town by republican militants.

In 1972 after Bloody Sunday, the Irish burned the British Embassy to the ground. Lord Mountbatten was blown up on a boat off the Irish coast in 1979.

That is not ancient history and given the huge increase in votes for Republican party Sinn Fein there is no question that a strand of Irish rebellion still runs strong.

They will make the argument that Queen Elizabeth is the titular head of the British army, responsible for so many Irish deaths over the centuries.

Opponents will make the point that it is merely a figurehead position and the Queen is nowadays relegated to a tourist attraction rather than having any real power.

It is a tough one for Enda Kenny to handle.

His predecessor, John Bruton, made a complete idiot of himself fawning over Prince Charles during a visit to Ireland some years ago.

Kenny is unlikely to make that mistake.

Above all he needs to stand as an equal and not some supplicant to a queen whose writ no longer runs in Ireland.

Myself, I wouldn't cross the road to see her, but I think on balance it is a good thing she is visiting.

Ireland has moved on from the bad old days of The Troubles and what was once toxic no longer is.