'You couldn't but be struck by it all'

Published 15/04/2014 | 05:40

RTE’s Tommie Gorman reporting on the State visit of President Michael D Higgins to England.

RTE'S Northern Editor Tommie Gorman described the President's State visit as "memorable as it was moving."

The Sligo native said it had been a "wonderful week."

Tommie added "I covered the death of Lord Mountbatten in 1979. I've worked for 12 or 13 years in the North. I'm conscious of the history at both local and national level.

"To see Lord Mountbatten's relatives in attendance and the Irish flags alongside the Union flags, you couldn't but be struck by it all."

Tommie said: "To watch how the Queen operates up close was quite stunning. This is a woman of nearly 88 years of age. She put in a superb shift and did her level best. It was remarkable."

Tommie was also delighted that the last of his mother's generation, 94-year-old Paddy Harkin, originally from near Drumkeerin, and who moved to the UK in the 1930's, was on the streets of Windsor to see the Queen and President Higgins.

Tommie said: "He lives in Windsor and was very proud to be there. It really was a fabulous occasion."

"As a reporter, there's nothing better than covering a happy story. So much of the news is about bad things.

"This was a happy event."

Sligo Champion

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