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SDLP's Margaret Ritchie: Invitation is sign of new maturity

I very much welcome the fact that President McAleese has issued, and that the Queen has accepted, an invitation to make an official visit to Ireland this year.

While this event is certainly historic in its own right, it is, just like the English rugby team playing in Croke Park, another sign of the positive maturity and closeness of Anglo-Irish |relations in recent times.

Both the Queen and the President have played no small part in signalling an end to old enmities and a blossoming of an |excellent new relationship between Britain and Ireland.

I am sure the Queen will be given a very warm Irish welcome and I hope that even those who historically take issue with the British monarchy will show a new spirit of generosity and maturity that shows our country really is moving on.

Belfast Telegraph