Top players invited to meet queen

THE GAA authorities have invited several high-profile footballers and hurlers to a function in Croke Park to meet Queen Elizabeth on her visit to Ireland.

Some of the best-known players in Ireland have been contacted by GAA officials about their availability for a function at HQ, where they will meet the British monarch.

The queen makes her first visit to Ireland on May 17. She will be formally welcomed by President Mary McAleese and attend a ceremony at the Garden of Remembrance, a state dinner in Dublin Castle, events at Trinity College, the National War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge, the Guinness Storehouse and Croke Park. She will also visit the Irish National Stud in Kildare, as well as the Rock of Cashel and Cork.

The exact date of her trip to Jones’ Road has not been released for security reasons.

It is expected that the queen will watch an exhibition by schoolchildren of hurling and football at GAA headquarters before meeting the players.

This will be the second recent encounter between top Gaelic stars and a head of state, following the St Patrick’s Day visit to the White House of Eoin Kelly, captain of Tipperary’s 2010 All-Ireland-winning senior hurlers, and Bernard Brogan, star of last year’s beaten All-Ireland senior football semi-finalists Dublin.


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