British Queen concludes first day of historic Ireland visit

08:36, May 18, 2011      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II concluded the first day of her four-day state visit to Ireland here on Tuesday afternoon.

Perhaps the most poignant moment of the visit so far occurred when the British Queen laid a wreath at Dublin's Garden of Remembrance. The garden is a memorial to the Irish men and women who fought and died for freedom against British rule.

A wreath was also laid by Irish President Mary McAleese, and the national anthems of both nations were played. All those present, including incumbent Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, former Irish prime ministers, members of the Irish defense forces and selected media representatives, observed a minute of silence.

The visit to the Garden of Remembrance was the historic centerpiece of the first day of the visit by Queen Elizabeth II to the Irish Republic. It is the first time since the establishment of the Irish state in 1922 that a reigning British monarch has visited.

Dressed in emerald green, the Queen arrived with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh just before noon on Tuesday.

The first port-of-call for the visiting monarch was Aras an Uachtarain, the residence of Irish President McAleese. It was the invitation of McAleese and the success of the 1998 Good Friday Peace Agreement that have led to the Queen's historic visit.

At Aras an Uachtarain, the Queen inspected a formal guard of honor by the Irish defense forces and signed the visitors book before planting an Irish oak tree in the garden.

The Queen's final engagement of the day was a visit to Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland's oldest university. The university in fact owes its existence to Queen Elizabeth I from the 16th century, a distant relative of the current monarch.

The visit to the university reflects one of the essential themes of the Queen's trip -- to display the shared history of both countries. The Queen was shown the university's library, which contains 4.5 million books, the most famous of them being a ninth century Bible manuscript, the Book of Kells.

The Queen's visit has been widely supported throughout the country and Dublin's O'Connell Street was packed with supporters. But with the recent killing of a police officer in Britain's Northern Ireland and an increase in the overall threat posed by dissident paramilitaries, the largest security operation in the history of the country has been put in place to ensure the Queen's safety.

There were some brief scuffles in Dublin between police officers and those protesting against the Queen's visit, and several arrests were made.

The Queen's trip will continue on Wednesday with perhaps one of the most controversial aspects of the itinerary. It is planned that the Queen will visit Croke Park, the home of Gaelic sports in Ireland and the site of the massacre of 14 Irish people by British troops in 1920.

And on Wednesday evening, there will be a formal banquet in Dublin Castle where the Queen will deliver her only speech of the trip.

Source: Xinhua
BRICS Leaders Meeting 2011
Japan in aftershocks
  Weekly review  
May 12   No winners in U.S. hi-tech export controls
May 12   China should view livelihood issues from strategic perspective
May 11   Syria will not be another Libya
May 06   Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway to launch 10-day trial run
May 14   The week in pictures
May 11   2000-year-old wine unearthed in Henan province
May 11   Scientist: China plans to build lunar research base
May 09   Apple employee, customer reach settlement after Beijing iPad brawl
May 12   Wenchuan Reconstruction: 'Chinese miracle' impresses world
May 12   No winners in U.S. hi-tech export controls


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • 3rd Anniversary Of Wenchuan Earthquake
  • Third China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • In pictures: current situation in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station
  • Senior CPC official meets chair of Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in EP
  • British queen begins historic visit to Ireland
  • 'Red education' sweeps Chongqing
  • Communication tech brings better life to rural communities
Communication tech brings better life to rural communities
  • Tulips in full blossom in NE China
Hot Forum Dicussion