Belfast Telegraph

Queen's visit 'is inappropriate'

Descendants of Ireland's 1916 rebel leaders have branded the state visit by Britain's Queen Elizabeth "bizarre" and "inappropriate".

James Connolly-Heron, great-grandson of Irish Labour Party founder James Connolly, said the historic visit was full of contradictions.

Honor O Brolchain, grand-niece of another signatory of the Proclamation of Independence, Joe Plunkett, said she was initially indifferent to the royal visit but now finds the idea ill-judged.

Both questioned why the Queen was asked to attend the Garden of Remembrance, which honours Irish rebels, and Croke Park, where in 1920 British troops killed 14 people in what was the original Bloody Sunday attack.

Mr Connolly-Heron said: "The places that she is visiting, the Garden of Remembrance and Croke Park, it's very inappropriate and insensitive. The Garden of Remembrance honours all those who fought and died for Irish freedom and that's where the Queen will be laying a wreath. But that dream has not been realised.

"There's a contradiction there. Given that the Queen of England still occupies part of this island is it not strange that she is honouring those who fought and died? I don't think we are at the stage for that sort of recognition.

"The itinerary is very strange. We have a strange image of the Queen laying a wreath in honour of those patriots. Is the Queen in favour of Irish unity? Croke Park is even more bizarre. The first people who should be honoured should be the people who died on the field."

Despite her opposition, Ms O Brolchain said she would not protest and that she respects the Government's decision to extend an invitation.

"Originally I would have said just stand back and stay away. I would prefer to do that," she said. "But I'd also much prefer some kind of establishment of what the Queen's view of our relationship in Irish history was.

"I realise we are only a small part of a colonial history but there should be some form of words or acknowledgement and she may do that, we don't know, but it would have been easier if we had been told that."


From Belfast Telegraph