Do we really want the Queen of England here?
Unless our politicians make some positive commitment themselves, it's a visit planned at half-cock, and likely to go off at half-cock. I would say, if it isn't going to be done properly then call the whole thing off, writes Mary Kenny
When Brian Cowen issued a formal invitation to David Cameron, in June, that Queen Elizabeth should pay a state visit to the Republic of Ireland next year, the mandarins in foreign affairs (and the economic planners, too, since state visits are three-quarters about boosting trade) were duly satisfied.
This is something that has been in the offing since at least 1996, when President Mary Robinson paid an official visit to the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
President Mary Robinson, whose appearance at the palace was accompanied by the Grenadier Guards playing 'The Soldier's Song', said that her visit was part of a 'modernising mission' that was long overdue. It was one aspect of the 'normalising' of relations between Britain and Ireland.