Queen to visit poignant sites on Irish trip07/04/2011 - 17:41:15
The British Queen’s state visit to Ireland will see her tour sites that are powerful reminders of Britain’s troubled relationship with the Republic.
Croke Park – the scene of a mass shooting by British troops – and Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance – which honours all those who fought for Irish freedom - will both be on her itinerary.
The trip, from May 17 to 20, will be the first by a British sovereign to the Republic.
Julian King, Britain’s Ambassador to Ireland, said: “The state visit programme announced by Buckingham Palace and Aras an Uachtarain (the President’s official residence) is a wide-ranging and exciting celebration of the close ties between our two countries.
“Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh will be able to experience at first hand the vibrant links that make our relationship with Ireland so important.
“This is a historic visit that also celebrates our close modern partnership.”
President Mary McAleese, whose role as Ireland's head of state from 1997 was dominated by the "building bridges" theme, invited the Queen as her second term draws to an end this year.
Both she and the Queen will make speeches at a State dinner in Dublin Castle.
The Queen will also make a courtesy call on Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Government Buildings during her four-day trip.
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