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Sunday 19 November 2017

Cork gets royal seal of approval

Ralph Riegel and Kevin Keane

DUBLIN is now awaiting a royal seal of approval from Queen Elizabeth after she honoured Cork for her warm welcome.

The British monarch was so impressed by the warmth of her welcome to Cork two weeks ago that she directed a personal secretary to write to the city council to express her thanks -- as traders in the city's 18th century English Market admitted that business has been booming since the royal visit.

Dublin city councillors were hopeful last night that they would receive a similar honour. "I'd say if she sent one to Cork, she'd be sending one to Dublin, without a doubt," Fine Gael councillor Clare Byrne said.

Hopes are mounting that the number of UK tourists could surge by up to 30pc this year on the back of the Republic's first royal visit in 100 years.

Cork Lord Mayor Michael O'Connell and City Manager Tim Lucey expressed their gratitude yesterday that the queen should have taken the step of acknowledging her visit.

A letter from Edward Young, deputy private secretary to the queen, was delivered to City Hall on Monday from Buckingham Palace -- and thanked both the mayor and the people of the city for the welcome.

The largest crowds of the queen's four-day visit gathered in Cork and palace officials were taken aback to see so many people cheering the royal party.

In the palace letter, the queen acknowledged that her visit to the English Market had been a memorable occasion.

"It was such a colourful and lively visit, as well as a wonderful opportunity for Her Majesty and His Royal Highness to meet members of the public," the letter said. "Please would you tell the people of Cork that the warmth of their welcome was deeply moving and greatly appreciated."

Mr Lucey said the visit was a priceless opportunity. "With a market of 60 million people on our doorstep, I think the benefits of this visit will be felt for years to come."

Irish Independent

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