Thursday 23 November 2017

Proud to be Irish in historic week

Sir -- Last week, I watched with interest the Queen's visit to Ireland. I was in awe of the symbolic power of her trip to Croke Park but especially of her visit to the Garden of Remembrance.

It was with a distinct sense of pride that I witnessed the ceremony pass off seamlessly and a moment of history, long overdue come to pass. The memory I will have of that day is the Queen standing side by side with our President in silence, heads bowed together, remembering and paying respect to those who won our freedom from British rule.

The gravity of that gesture from the Queen is a mark of her grace and great passion for peace. This step in the long, often turbulent history of Britain and Ireland is the most significant along the path to complete reconciliation. I understand and respect the opinion of people who were opposed to the royal visit here but the past cannot be altered. The troubled Anglo-Irish relationship through the generations has been in the hands of others, but the future is peaceful and in our hands.

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