Saturday 10 December 2016

Royal protesters out of touch with new Ireland

Published 30/05/2011 | 05:00

Watching footage of angry protesters during the queen's visit reminded me of walking to Croke Park on the day of the historic England rugby match in 2007.

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I saw some similarly noisy protesters and thought, as the thousands of Irish supporters streamed by them, how much they looked like yesterday's men. Their mean-spirited resentment was dwarfed by the enthusiasm and excitement of the Irish and English fans.

Their posters proclaimed about how "their day would come" but actually it felt that "our day" -- not theirs -- had come a little closer. Our day in an Ireland more comfortable with itself and its relationship with Britain. Our day in an Ireland deeper in our understanding of our unionist neighbours in the North.

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