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I HAVE just returned to my parish near Southampton after a vacation in my native Cork city.
The penultimate day of that holiday was spent welcoming Queen Elizabeth II to Cork.
It was truly unforgettable to be on the south mall and experience the joy and peace that was so evident to all. I chatted with a group of elderly ladies from Newmarket (Cork) who had made the journey and were glad they did. I overheard a mother nearby tell her son how he was a part of history and would tell his children and grandchildren about this day.
The magnificent Garda Siochana made everybody feel secure and at home.
To be fair, the Sinn Féin protest that took place over in Sullivan’s Quay, was jingoistic and noisy with much music, but it was non-violent.
They too had a particular view of the histories and the fact that they were allowed to express it said much for the mature democracy that is Cork.
It reflected a true republic in the tradition of tone and Emmet. Cork showed itself to be warm, welcoming, determined and efficient.
As I repaired to Patrick Street from the Mall after the Queen had left, I was once again conscious of the peace and joy of the occasion.
The Cork Corporation must be congratulated on, among other things, erecting large screens where we were able to view the superb coverage by RTÉ of the visit.
As Queen Elizabeth’s flight lifted off, there was rapturous applause that echoed down Patrick Street as if to say thanks for being among us and god’s speed.
People here in my parish are so eagar to talk and hear all about the royal visit. Well done Cork, we are so proud of you.
Fr John Buckley
Our Lady Queen of Apostles
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