Sunday, 19 June 2011
Sunday, 5 June 2011
“So ladies and gentlemen, I ask you to rise and join me in a toast to the President, and the people, of Ireland”. Few thought they would live to see the day where a British monarch would express any such sentiment regarding the Irish people. Over the course of her visit Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, together with President Mary McAleese, has indeed made history.
With the turbulent and often violent history that Ireland and England share, many found no difficulty in being sceptical about the royal visit. After all, how could a four-day visit make amends for centuries of oppression?
It was said during her visit that an apology for the atrocities that were carried out during the course of our shared history was highly unlikely. It later became clear, by the end of her only speech of the visit, that a direct and official apology was not forthcoming. However, by the end of the second day, it became almost unnecessary.