Saturday 20 January 2018

Rebel County's push for royal visit pays off


THE Rebel County now looks likely to host Queen Elizabeth II during her historic Irish visit next month. May 20 is the likely date for the Queen to visit the Republic's second city.

Cork has waged a determined campaign to be included on the three-day itinerary and the Lord Mayor, Cllr Michael O'Connell, says he is now "very optimistic".

"I sent an invitation off to the British Embassy some weeks ago," he told the Sunday Independent. "We had a response back last week and have had formal discussions.

"It is now looking very likely and very possible that the Queen will visit Cork towards the end of May.

"Confirmation will come from the British Embassy in relation to all the events she will be undertaking when she comes to Ireland.

"My understanding is that will come in the next week or so," added the Lord Mayor.

Cllr John Mulvihill said a royal visit would help transform Cork's tourist season and could create hundreds, if not thousands, of extra jobs.

During her Irish sojourn, the monarch is also expected to visit the Irish National Stud in Kildare.

Meanwhile, University College, Cork, has launched a determined bid to ensure that US President Barack Obama visits the city next month.

UCC has formally invited him to deliver the inaugural lecture in honour of Frederick Douglass, one of the president's great personal heroes.

Mr Obama has also been asked to unveil a statue on UCC's campus to Douglass, who died in 1895.

A former slave, Douglass led the abolitionist movement in the US and was renowned worldwide as a writer, orator and social campaigner.

He visited Ireland during his lifetime and became a firm friend of several leading Irish figures, including Daniel O'Connell.

President Obama regularly quotes and refers to Frederick Douglass and his writings.

Louis Jacob, Page 17

Sunday Independent

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