Belfast Telegraph

Queen could pay tribute to Irish rebels on visit to Republic: claim

By Amanda Poole

The Queen could lay a wreath in tribute to Irish rebels who fought British forces if she follows the usual diplomatic protocols during her Dublin visit, it has been claimed.

Former Irish cabinet minister Eamon O'Cuiv said it is standard procedure for a visiting head of state to lay a wreath at the city’s Garden of Remembrance — which is dedicated to “the memory of all who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom”.

“This is the head of state of our neighbouring country, and of course the normal protocols in these affairs are followed,” he said.

“My understanding is that that is the situation.”

His comments were broadcast on the BBC Spotlight programme A Royal Appointment last night.

Officials at Buckingham Palace said the Queen's timetable was not finalised and declined to comment further.

It will be the first visit by a British monarch to the Republic since George V in 1911 and is seen by many as a highly symbolic moment in British and Irish history, cementing relations between the two neighbouring states.

Ulster Unionist MLA David Mc Narry believes any potential disputes will be side-stepped.

“These arrangements are organised by Her Majesty the Queen’s staff, who are the most ex

perienced in the world at diverting controversy from the monarch when she is visiting a foreign country and I am sure that’s what the people of the Republic of Ireland would wish for,” he said.

“And when Enda Kenny said the Queen would be given a warm welcome, I’m sure he meant it.”

Sinn Fein MLA Barry McElduff said the visit was premature.

“We are not yet at a position were there are normal relations between Britain and Ireland — however the situation is improving,” he said.

“The issue remains that Queen Elizabeth is the symbolic head of the British forces in Ireland and they remain a presence in |Ireland.”

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