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Queen's 90th birthday: Northern Ireland communities united for royal celebration

By Staff Reporter

Published 22/04/2016

Two VIPs, both of whom celebrated their 90th birthday on the same day as The Queen (Thursday, 21 April), Albert Moore from East Belfast (left) and Austin Henderson from Stranmillis (right) assist Deputy Lord Mayor Alderman Guy Spence to light the beacon on the front lawn of City Hall. The Belfast tribute was part of a UK-wide beacon lighting programme marking the Royal birthday. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Two VIPs, both of whom celebrated their 90th birthday on the same day as The Queen (Thursday, 21 April), Albert Moore from East Belfast (left) and Austin Henderson from Stranmillis (right) assist Deputy Lord Mayor Alderman Guy Spence to light the beacon on the front lawn of City Hall. The Belfast tribute was part of a UK-wide beacon lighting programme marking the Royal birthday. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Handout photo issued by Harrison Photography of a 21 Gun Salute at Hillsborough Castle, Belfast, to celebrate the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. PA
Handout photo issued by Harrison Photography of a 21 Gun Salute at Hillsborough Castle, Belfast, to celebrate the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. PA
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21st April 2016 A mural on Rockview Street in the Village area of south Belfast on the day the Queen celebrates her 90th birthday. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Pacemaker Press Belfast 21-04-2016: A number of events are being held in Northern Ireland to celebrate the 90th birthday of the Queen. A 21-gun salute took place at Hillsborough Castle and at other venues across the UK at noon. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 21-04-2016: A number of events are being held in Northern Ireland to celebrate the 90th birthday of the Queen. A 21-gun salute took place at Hillsborough Castle and at other venues across the UK at noon. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 21-04-2016: A number of events are being held in Northern Ireland to celebrate the 90th birthday of the Queen. A 21-gun salute took place at Hillsborough Castle and at other venues across the UK at noon. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
21 gun salute at Hillsborough Castle to mark the Queen's 90th birthday. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
21 gun salute at Hillsborough Castle to mark the Queen's 90th birthday. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
21 gun salute at Hillsborough Castle to mark the Queen's 90th birthday. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
21 gun salute at Hillsborough Castle to mark the Queen's 90th birthday. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
21 gun salute at Hillsborough Castle to mark the Queen's 90th birthday. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
21 gun salute at Hillsborough Castle to mark the Queen's 90th birthday. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
21 gun salute at Hillsborough Castle to mark the Queen's 90th birthday. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
21 gun salute at Hillsborough Castle to mark the Queen's 90th birthday. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Pacemaker Press Belfast 21-04-2016: A number of events are being held in Northern Ireland to celebrate the 90th birthday of the Queen. A 21-gun salute took place at Hillsborough Castle and at other venues across the UK at noon. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

A poignant crossing of lights beamed into the dark skies above Enniskillen last night as a symbol of two communities coming together in celebration of the Queen's 90th birthday.

In many ways the symbolic gesture wasn't just to commemorate the special occasion, but an opportunity to celebrate a community spirit that runs deep within the town.

Viscount Brookeborough, Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant for Co Fermanagh, also lit a birthday beacon, while Enniskillen Castle was bathed in purple light for the special occasion.

Nearby there were royal-themed refreshments from local cafe the Jolly Sandwich Bar, while St Michael's Band and Portora Royal School played music on Darling Street.

The Very Rev Kenneth Hall, the Dean of Clogher, held a thanksgiving service in St Macartin's Cathedral, and was assisted by representatives from all the local churches.

The Queen's short walk across the street from the Cathedral to St Michael's Catholic Church in 2012 was seen as hugely symbolic, and still is.

"This is about building community, bringing people together," said Dean Hall.

"Just like The Queen did in 2012, we are trying to show tolerance and respect to all.

"We walk the same street, we breathe the same air, we share the same feelings." Assisting Dean Hall were the Rev David Cupples of the Presbyterian Church, the Rev Stephen Woods of the Methodist Church and the Rt Rev Monsignor Peter O'Reilly of the Catholic Church.

"The Queen knew very well what she was doing when she came here, the crossing of the street was about togetherness, about bringing us together," said Mgr O'Reilly.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh travel through Windsor in an open top Range Rover after her 90th Birthday Walkabout on April 21, 2016 in Windsor, England. Today is Queen Elizabeth II's 90th Birthday. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will be carrying out engagements in Windsor. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh travel through Windsor in an open top Range Rover after her 90th Birthday Walkabout on April 21, 2016 in Windsor, England. Today is Queen Elizabeth II's 90th Birthday. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will be carrying out engagements in Windsor. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Royal Standard flies above Windsor Castle as the Queen celebrates her 90th birthday. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh travel through Windsor in an open top Range Rover after her 90th Birthday Walkabout on April 21, 2016 in Windsor, England. Today is Queen Elizabeth II's 90th Birthday. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will be carrying out engagements in Windsor. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II talks to local women who are all aged in their nineties during her 90th Birthday Walkabout on April 21, 2016 in Windsor, England. Today is Queen Elizabeth II's 90th Birthday. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will be carrying out engagements in Windsor. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II talks to local women who are all aged in their nineties during her 90th Birthday Walkabout on April 21, 2016 in Windsor, England. Today is Queen Elizabeth II's 90th Birthday. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will be carrying out engagements in Windsor. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh wave from the top of an open Range Rover on the monarch's 90th Birthday on April 21, 2016 in Windsor, England. Today is Queen Elizabeth II's 90th Birthday. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will be carrying out engagements in Windsor. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (centre L) accompanied by her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh greet wellwishers during a 'walkabout' on her 90th birthday in Windsor, west of London, on April 21, 2016. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) accompanied by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh greet wellwishers during a walkabout on her 90th birthday in Windsor on April 21, 2016. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II waves to well wishers from a open top Range Rover in Windsor, Berkshire, as she celebrates her 90th birthday. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II meets the public on her 90th Birthday Walkabout on April 21, 2016 in Windsor, England. Today is Queen Elizabeth II's 90th Birthday. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will be carrying out engagements in Windsor. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II meets well wishers during a walkabout close to Windsor Castle in Berkshire as she celebrates her 90th birthday. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II meets well wishers during a walkabout close to Windsor Castle in Berkshire as she celebrates her 90th birthday. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II meets well wishers during a walkabout close to Windsor Castle in Berkshire as she celebrates her 90th birthday. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II meets well wishers during a walkabout close to Windsor Castle in Berkshire as she celebrates her 90th birthday. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
A gun fires during a 41 gun royal salute to mark the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II at Hyde Park on April 21, 2016 in London, England. 71 horses pulled six First World War-era 13-pounder field guns into place at Hyde Park to fire forty one blank shots. The soldiers, horses and guns are from The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery who rode out from their forward mounting base in Wellington Barracks and are commanded by Major Robert Skeggs. (Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
A gun fires during a 41 gun royal salute to mark the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II at Hyde Park on April 21, 2016 in London, England. 71 horses pulled six First World War-era 13-pounder field guns into place at Hyde Park to fire forty one blank shots. The soldiers, horses and guns are from The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery who rode out from their forward mounting base in Wellington Barracks and are commanded by Major Robert Skeggs. (Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II meets well wishers during a walkabout close to Windsor Castle in Berkshire as she celebrates her 90th birthday. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II meets well wishers during a walkabout close to Windsor Castle in Berkshire as she celebrates her 90th birthday. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II meets well wishers during a walkabout close to Windsor Castle in Berkshire as she celebrates her 90th birthday. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II attends a Walkabout to celebrate her 90th Birthday on April 21, 2016 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II attends a Walkabout to celebrate her 90th Birthday on April 21, 2016 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II attends a Walkabout to celebrate her 90th Birthday on April 21, 2016 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II attends a Walkabout to celebrate her 90th Birthday on April 21, 2016 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II attends a Walkabout to celebrate her 90th Birthday on April 21, 2016 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II attends a Walkabout to celebrate her 90th Birthday on April 21, 2016 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Burger King restaurant at Tottenham Court Road in London, which has been rebranded for one day only as 'Burger Queen', in honour of Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday. David Parry/PA Wire
Members of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards band play outside Cardiff Castle in Cardiff, ahead of a 21 Gun salute in honour of The Queen's 90th birthday. Ben Wright/PA Wire
Crowds gather for the Queen's 90th Birthday Walkabout on April 21, 2016 in Windsor, England. Today is Queen Elizabeth II's 90th Birthday. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will be carrying out engagements in Windsor. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Crowds gather outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire before a walkabout by Queen Elizabeth II as she celebrates her 90th birthday. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Crowds gather outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire before a walkabout by Queen Elizabeth II as she celebrates her 90th birthday. John Stillwell/PA Wire
Town criers Steve Clow (left) and Peter Baker join crowds outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire before a walkabout by Queen Elizabeth II as she celebrates her 90th birthday. Photo credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire
Judy (left) and Anne Daley, from Wales, join crowds outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire before a walkabout by Queen Elizabeth II as she celebrates her 90th birthday. John Stillwell/PA Wire
Sandra Martin from TV show Gogglebox joins crowds outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire before a walkabout by Queen Elizabeth II as she celebrates her 90th birthday. John Stillwell/PA Wire
Royal supporters pose for pictures outside Windsor Castle, west of London, on April 21, 2016, as Britain's Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 90th birthday. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
David Weeks joins crowds outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire before a walkabout by Queen Elizabeth II as she celebrates her 90th birthday. John Stillwell/PA Wire
Royal supporters pose for pictures outside Windsor Castle, west of London, on April 21, 2016, as Britain's Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 90th birthday. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Royal enthusiast Margaret Tyler holds a cake that she has made for Queen Elizabeth II outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire before a walkabout by the Queen as she celebrates her 90th birthday. John Stillwell/PA Wire
Steve Clow, one of the 'Three Criers' Town Criers prepares for the Queen's 90th Birthday Walkabout on April 21, 2016 in Windsor, England. Today is Queen Elizabeth II's 90th Birthday. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will be carrying out engagements in Windsor. Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The 'Three Criers' Tony Appleton, Steve Clow and Peter Baker prepare for the Queen's 90th Birthday Walkabout on April 21, 2016 in Windsor, England. Today is Queen Elizabeth II's 90th Birthday. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will be carrying out engagements in Windsor. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Judy Daley and Anne Daley from Cardiff wait in position for the Queen's 90th Birthday Walkabout on April 21, 2016 in Windsor, England. Today is Queen Elizabeth II's 90th Birthday. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will be carrying out engagements in Windsor. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Dennis Melvin waits in position for the Queen's 90th Birthday Walkabout on April 21, 2016 in Windsor, England. Today is Queen Elizabeth II's 90th Birthday. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will be carrying out engagements in Windsor. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Royal enthusiast John Loughrey and Kathy Martin join crowds outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire before a walkabout by Queen Elizabeth II as she celebrates her 90th birthday. John Stillwell/PA Wire
Royal supporters pose for pictures outside Windsor Castle, west of London, on April 21, 2016, as Britain's Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 90th birthday. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
A rosette wishing Britain's Queen Elizabeth II a happy birthday is pictured on a royal supporter outside Windsor Castle, west of London, on April 21, 2016, as the Queen celebrates her 90th birthday. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Royal supporters pose for pictures outside Windsor Castle, west of London, on April 21, 2016, as Britain's Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 90th birthday. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Royal supporters gather outside Windsor Castle, west of London, on April 21, 2016, as Britain's Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 90th birthday. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Bunting is pictured outside Windsor Castle, west of London, on April 21, 2016, as Britain's Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 90th birthday. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Royal enthusiast Margaret Tyler holds a cake that she has made for Queen Elizabeth II outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire before a walkabout by the Queen as she celebrates her 90th birthday. John Stillwell/PA Wire
The cake made for Queen Elizabeth II by royal enthusiast Margaret Tyler is seen outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire before a walkabout by the Queen as she celebrates her 90th birthday. John Stillwell/PA Wire
Royal enthusiast John Loughrey joins crowds outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire before a walkabout by Queen Elizabeth II as she celebrates her 90th birthday. John Stillwell/PA Wire
Donna Werner, from Connecticut in the USA, joins crowds outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire before a walkabout by Queen Elizabeth II as she celebrates her 90th birthday. John Stillwell/PA Wire

"It fills me with pride to see so many people turn out for this event," he added.

Ken Rainey, president of the Rotary Club of Enniskillen, which helped organise the ceremony, said the event "symbolised what true community spirit is all about". "We are recognising that the Queen is really someone who is special to all of us, to the entire community," he said.

There was a nice touch during the street party when Peggy Bogue, who shares her 90th birthday with the monarch, was invited to cut a birthday cake as First Minister Arlene Foster led a sing-song to commemorate her big day.

Afterwards Mrs Foster said Enniskillen "is renowned for being a community that works together". "The Queen has shown us to value difference, not to be afraid of difference and to respect the other," she added.

"We shouldn't diminish ourselves in our own identities but we should celebrate the fact that we have difference, and I believe we do that very well in Enniskillen."

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