Is it just me or is anyone else a bit uneasy about the Queen of England’s visit to Ireland next week?
I am sick to the teeth listening to people laud the Queen’s visit as a sign of how relations between the two countries have improved. Even Gerry Adams, the President of Sinn Fein, said yesterday that the royal visit is a ‘unique opportunity’ for Ireland and Britain to build a new relationship based on equality and mutual respect. Really? Is that even possible?
It’s obviously important for governments to try and build relationships with one another but what’s the point in Enda Kenny snuggling up to a woman who, after all, is nothing more than a figurehead.
The word democracy and the English Royal Family do not and will never go hand in hand. They claim to be representative of the people of England yet it cost the English taxpayer £20m to pay for the police operation during the recent royal wedding. The last wedding I was at there wasn’t a police officer in sight and the closest we got to riding down the Mall was riding home in a taxi to Derry in the wee small hours.
My main bone of contention with the Queen’s visit is the GAA’s decision to welcome her to Croke Park.
When Lansdowne Road was being rebuilt GAA hardliners were up in arms at the suggestion that soccer was to be played at their sacred venue. Protestors made their voice heard by standing outside the north Dublin venue with placards that read ‘No to foreign games’.
Fast forward a few years and I thought that the level of protest witnessed when the Republic of Ireland played at Croke Park would be surpassed by what would happen when it was announced that the Queen and her less-than-amusing husband Prince Philip were to enjoy a guided tour of the home of the GAA.
Politicians on both sides of the divide are telling us that the Queen’s visit is a symbol of just how far both Ireland and England have come. Be that as it may, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the people of Ireland have to forget what the British forces did in Croke Park in 1920.
The Queen’s grandfather, George V, sat on the English throne the day his forces entered Croke Park during a game between Dublin and Tipperary and murdered 14 Irish men, women and children.
If what happened in Dublin in 1920 is not enough to question the Queen’s visit to Ireland then why not consider the fact that the Queen herself decorated Colonel Wilford (the man in charge of 1st Parachute Regiment in Derry on Bloody Sunday) after his troops murdered 13 innocent civilians on the streets of Derry on January 30, 1972.
The Royal family are also inherently anti-Catholic. If Kate Middleton had been Catholic it would have meant that she could never become Queen of England simply because of her religion.
So, a predominantly Catholic country has invited the reigning English monarch to Ireland. The Irish government and all the hangers on will parade around Dublin and Cork like nothing has ever happened whilst those of us who are against the visit are made to feel that we are saying is inflammatory and insensitive.
There’s very little anyone against the visit can do except register their unease at the visit but I think the people of Derry can rest easy because the chances of the Queen getting a guided tour of the Brandywell are slim and and none - and slim just left town!