ANYONE who remembers the visit of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip to Ireland in May 2011 will recall not just the grandeur of events in Dublin Castle an Áras an Uachtaráin but also their trip to the Rock of Cashel, the National Stud in Kildare, and the Coolmore Stud in Co Tipperary.
Mostly, they will recall the warmth of welcome she received throughout her visit, most especially during her unscheduled walkabout in Cork where she chatted with locals in the city’s famous English Market.
It was the first visit by a reigning British monarch to the south of Ireland since the 1911 tour by her grandfather King George V.
What many of us may not have known — but which has since become evident — is the role of An Garda Síochána in ensuring the success of the royal tour of Ireland.
To put it somewhat crudely, we were delighted to see her arrive and even more delighted to see her go back to London safely and without incident.
Yesterday, the Special Criminal Court heard details of bomb threats and a bomb find on a bus from Ballina to Dublin during the Queen’s visit. During the hearing, Mr Justice Tony Hunt praised the gardaí for what he described as a “well-executed and comprehensive investigation”.
The Garda Síochána are to be commended for a job well done in the most difficult circumstances.
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