Belfast Telegraph

Queen’s visit could face protests, warns Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Prime Minister David Cameron has been warned by Taoiseach Enda Kenny that the historic visit by the Queen to the Republic could face a public backlash from some sectors of Irish society.

The Queen will be making the first Royal visit to the Irish Republic on May 17 — the same date on which 33 people were killed in loyalist bombings in Dublin and Monaghan in 1974.

Relatives of the dead have criticised the Government for failing to release files held by British intelligence — whom they suspect of involvement — on the bombings.

Mr Kenny raised the issue with Mr Cameron during his first official visit to 10 Downing Street yesterday.

“I reminded the Prime Minister that because the date of the arrival of the Queen coincides with the date of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, that obviously there may be a small measure of protest arising from that,” he said.

There were no promises yesterday from Mr Cameron to release any of the secret intelligence files.

Mr Kenny spent around three-quarters-of-an-hour meeting Mr Cameron, who is due to accompany the Queen.

“I made the point that the vast majority of Irish people will welcome very warmly the Queen to Ireland,” he said.

The Queen is due to visit both the Garden of Remembrance — which commemorates the 1916

rebels — and the War Memorial Garden in Islandbridge — which commemorates the Irishmen who fought with the British Army in the First World War.

It is understood that the two premiers also discussed the murder of PSNI recruit Ronan Kerr.

The Catholic constable was murdered in a booby trap car bomb attack outside his home in Omagh, Tyrone, two weeks ago.

Northern Ireland Secretary of State Owen Paterson also expressed confidence about the Queen's visit after his first meeting with Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore in Dublin yesterday.

But he said he was realistic in expecting that a “small number” of people would protest against the British monarch’s visit.

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