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Céad míle fáilte to a figurehead queen

THE comments by David Roberts and Seamus Kearney on the proposed royal visit (Letters, June 25) are sad and to be deplored.

I feel they do not reflect the opinions of the vast majority of our people. Queen Elizabeth is merely a figurehead who has little real power and acts on the advice of parliament in much the same way as our president does.

So when Tony Blair apologised for any deficiencies of the then British government in relation to the Great Famine, and latterly when David Cameron apologised for Bloody Sunday, we had the elected voices of the British people speaking.

And let us also not forget Mullaghmore, Le Mon and Enniskillen either.

Thankfully, following the Good Friday Agreement all is changed, changed utterly, to quote Yeats.

Britain is our nearest neighbour and an EU partner in whose land so many of our people have found welcome and refuge, even in modern times, and will no doubt again in the future given the woeful mismanagement of our affairs here — for which apologies are slow to come.

If the queen does visit us she comes to a sovereign Republic as a guest in the same way as any other head of state. While many people will welcome her — some in a sort of tourist or racing confraternity manner — I will not be bothered going out to see her, but neither would I if it happened to be a visit by the queen of Spain or Holland.

And where does this apology business end? I feel it is overdone — a meaningless gesture towards events going back over the centuries as it is supposed to cover all types of colonialism, suppression of minorities, war, famine, etc, etc.

I hope Queen Elizabeth gets a real Irish welcome and that those protesting will be reduced to the same pathetic few who turned up outside Croke Park wearing soccer jerseys when that stadium was temporarily opened up to so-called foreign games.

Brendan Cafferty

Creggs Road

Ballina

Co Mayo


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