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Queen protests 'must be peaceful'

Sinn Fein has called for any protests over the state visit of Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh to Ireland to be peaceful as they are an "elderly couple".

The party said people have a right to take to the streets but should not cast a slur on republicanism by causing trouble.

Deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald called for demonstrations to be democratic, peaceful and respectful.

"This isn't personal. I am conscious of the fact that it's an elderly couple visiting the country," Ms McDonald said.

"On a human level of course nobody wishes to be unnecessarily confrontational for the sake of it."

Ms McDonald said Sinn Fein would be having events around the visit but members would not be getting involved in confrontation on the streets.

"People have a perfect right to protest but it needs to be peaceable, democratic," Ms McDonald said.

"Those that espouse republican values and that object legitimately to this visit should not cast a slur on republicanism by having confrontation and aggro on the streets."

Last night, it was confirmed that the state visit to Ireland will take in a tour of several historically significant sites including Croke Park - the scene of a massacre by British troops - and Dublin's Garden of Remembrance - which honours all those who fought for Irish freedom.

The trip, from May 17 to 20, will be the first by a British sovereign to the Republic.

The historic visit will also include events at Trinity College Dublin, the National War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge, and the Guinness Storehouse.

Croke Park was the scene of the 1920 Bloody Sunday, when British troops opened fire during a challenge gaelic football match between Dublin and Tipperary, killing 14 people including Tipperary player Michael Hogan.

The Hogan stand in the ground is named in his honour while Hill 16 is said to have been built from the rubble of the 1916 Easter Rising.

The Queen and the Duke will also make trips outside the capital, including a tour of the Irish National Stud in Kildare, and a visit to Cashel, home to the Rock of Cashel, one of the most visited and spectacular tourist attractions in Ireland.

PA Media