Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Queen protests 'must be peaceful'

Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald said any protests around Queen Elizabeth's visit to Ireland must be peaceful

Sinn Fein has called for any protests over the state visit of Britain's Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh to Ireland to be peaceful as they are an "elderly couple".

The party said people have a right to take to the streets but should not cast a slur on republicanism by causing trouble.

Deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald called for demonstrations to be democratic, peaceful and respectful.

"This isn't personal. I am conscious of the fact that it's an elderly couple visiting the country. On a human level of course nobody wishes to be unnecessarily confrontational for the sake of it," Ms McDonald said.

She said Sinn Fein would hold events around the visit but members would not be getting involved in confrontation on the streets.

"People have a perfect right to protest but it needs to be peaceable, democratic," Ms McDonald said. "Those that espouse republican values and that object legitimately to this visit should not cast a slur on republicanism by having confrontation and aggro on the streets."

It has been confirmed that the state visit to will take in a tour of several historically significant sites including Croke Park and Dublin's Garden of Remembrance.

The historic visit from May 17 to 20 will also include events at Trinity College Dublin, the National War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge, and the Guinness Storehouse.

The Queen and Duke will also make trips outside the capital, including a tour of the Irish National Stud in Kildare, and a visit to Cashel, home to the Rock of Cashel.

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