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Queen begins historic Ireland visit

17 May 2011 No Comment

QUEEN Elizabeth II arrived in Dublin on Tuesday for the first visit by a British monarch to the Irish Republic as the discovery of a bomb near the capital underscored the threat posed by republican hardliners.

The queen touched down at Casement Aerodrome – named after an Irish revolutionary executed by the British – for a landmark four-day trip surrounded by the biggest ever security operation mounted by the republic.

Wearing an emerald green coat and hat, the 85-year-old queen emerged from the royal jet followed by her husband Prince Philip to be greeted by an Irish military guard of honour.

She is the first British sovereign to visit Ireland since it won independence from Britain in 1922, while the last monarch to come to the country was King George V, the queen’s grandfather, in 1911.

‘This is an historic and symbolic visit and it is dealing with the conclusion of the past and a message for the future,’ Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said.

The neighbouring states have hailed the visit as a historic sign of the progress made after the hard-won peace in British-ruled Northern Ireland but there were a string of security alerts in the hours before the royals arrived.

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