Private visit would serve us all better than a State event
The focus should be on the queen as an individual and she should not be expected to apologise for incidents in the past, writes Charles Lysaght
Although a recent Sunday Independent poll records a majority of 80 per cent of Irish people in favour the forthcoming visit of Queen Elizabeth, I sense unease about the event even among those who are not opposed to it. Its success cannot be taken for granted.
As a person who deplores Anglophobia as demeaning to ourselves and who desires close friendly relations between Ireland and Britain, I have long had misgivings about Queen Elizabeth paying us a State visit. It is a risky departure from the policy of keeping relations between our two countries low key, which has served us well since independence.
Irish presidents have paid many visits to Britain but have never been accorded the honour of a State visit. On two occasions, as part of a private visit, they have called on Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace -- President Robinson was given tea while President McAleese had lunch.