Getting shut out of the royal visit

THE Tánaiste has remarked in the Irish Examiner (May 18) that he “would have liked to have seen more well-wishers for the queen’s visit”. Logically we can assume a number of reasons why people weren’t present.

Historically, people have shown a clear interest in survival, and disassociating themselves with the single largest security operation in the history of the nation would undoubtedly go a long way towards ensuring this basic need to survive.

So, too, could be the simple fact that Mr Gilmore, as a member of the government, facilitated the severe curtailment of methods of transportation into and out of Dublin for the purposes of keeping the queen safe from threatened attacks.

In my experience, it’s a little bit difficult to line the streets if you’re forbidden by law from “lining” said streets in the first place. HRM is not supposed to come closer than 50 feet to the vast majority of the citizens of the city she is visiting.

A contributing factor could be the fact that people probably reasoned dissident movements, who routinely denounce the presence on this island of British forces (most recently by murdering a young Catholic policeman), might hold protests which traditionally have a high propensity to tend toward the polemic. Which, surprise-surprise, they did in this instance also, at several locations in Dublin.

In addition to these reasons, there was an unusually high number of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) found and bomb hoaxes called into the security forces (north and south of the border) over the past 24 hours, which may have had a bearing on the willingness of families to enter a potentially fatal situation on the anniversary of the Dublin-Monaghan Bombings.

I am surprised that a man as intelligent and politically savvy as Eamonn Gilmore would say something like this.

Doesn’t he know that you can’t have your queen-cake and eat it?

E T Gardiner

O’Connell Avenue

Limerick

More in this section