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Queen in the market for some traditional Irish fare in Cork

Some traditional culinary delights are to be laid on for the Queen on her visit to Ireland next week when she tours the 18th century English Market in Cork city centre on Friday, May 20.

The Queen is in Dublin from May 17 and has engagements with Irish President Mary McAleese including a wreath-laying ceremony at the Garden of Remembrance and a tour of Croke Park.

US President Barack Obama is expected to arrive in Ireland just days later on Monday May 23, the day before he visits London.

Most of his engagements are planned for Phoenix Park where he will meet President McAleese, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and cabinet members, before travelling to his ancestral home in Moneygall, Co Offaly, in the midlands.

A public event is also being planned for one of Dublin city centre's main thoroughfares after proposals for a huge open-air address at Croke Park were shelved.

Prime Minister David Cameron will make his first official visit to Ireland next week, it’s been confirmed.

The Conservative leader will meet Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Dublin's Government Buildings on Wednesday for face-to-face talks.

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The series of high-profile visits has sparked unprecedented security operations.

Cork’s English Market is known as a treasure trove for foodies and is famed for staples such as pigs' trotters, ‘drisheen' (a type of blood pudding), tripe, farmhouse cheeses, soda breads and virtually every type of fish.

The visit to the market — which almost burned down 30 years ago — is being described as the highlight of the Queen's itinerary in Cork, where a street party will take place to honour her visit.

More than 25,000 people are expected to gather on St Patrick's Street, where locals will be given a chance to watch the Royal proceedings on giant TV screens.

The city council last night described the street party as “a welcome gesture to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in acknowledgement of the historical significance of the visit and the Queen's generous decision to visit the city on her short stay”.

The market will be officially closed to the public prior to and during the tour and only select media are being allowed in to witness the Monarch's public walkabout.

Traders, all of whom have undergone detailed security screenings, are confident the Queen and Prince Philip will sample some of the Irish delicacies on offer.

The market — founded in 1788 — now ranks as one of Cork's prime tourist attractions.

Meanwhile, the formerly conjoined twins Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf, whose names mean prince and handsome prince, will soon add Queen Elizabeth II to the long list of VIPs they have met so far in their short but remarkable lives.

The thriving 15-month-old pair from Carrigtwohill, Co Cork, have been invited to meet the Queen by the Tyndall Institute in Cork, which also features on Her Majesty's itinerary.

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