Wednesday 7 December 2016

Kenny warns Cameron of protests during Queen visit

Michael Brennan and ine Kerr

Published 19/04/2011 | 05:00

Taoiseach Enda Kenny (right) meets his British counterpart David Cameron under a portrait of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher at 10 Downing Street, London, yesterday
Taoiseach Enda Kenny (right) meets his British counterpart David Cameron under a portrait of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher at 10 Downing Street, London, yesterday

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny warned British Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday that the historic visit by the queen could face a public backlash from some sectors of Irish society.

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Queen Elizabeth will be making the first royal visit to the State in more than 100 years on May 17 -- the same date on which 33 people were killed in loyalist bombings in Dublin and Monaghan in 1974.

Relatives of the dead have criticised the British government for failing to release files from the British intelligence service -- whom they suspect of involvement.

Mr Kenny raised the issue with Mr Cameron during his first official visit to Number 10 Downing Street yesterday.

"I reminded the prime minister that because the date of the arrival of the queen coincides with date of the Dublin Monaghan bombings, that obviously, there may be a small measure of protest arising from that," he said.

There were no promises yesterday from Mr Cameron to release any of the secret British intelligence files.

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Mr Kenny spent around three-quarters of an hour meeting Mr Cameron, who is due to accompany the queen.

"I made the point that the vast majority of Irish people will welcome very warmly the queen to Ireland," he said.

Mr Kenny praised the schedule for the queen's visit as "well thought out".

She is due to visit both the Garden of Remembrance -- which commemorates the 1916 rebels -- and the War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge -- which commemorates the Irish men who fought with the British army in World War One.

His comments came as Northern Secretary of State Owen Paterson also expressed confidence about the queen's visit after his first meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore in Dublin yesterday. He said he was realistic in expecting that a "small number" of people would protest.

"But I have enormous confidence in the guards here and the PSNI," he said.

During their meeting in London, Mr Kenny and Mr Cameron discussed the "exceptionally strong" Anglo-Irish relationship, the dissident republican threat in the North and the individual €3bn loan made available by the British government as part of the bailout deal.

Irish Independent

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