Queen expresses sympathy for Irish victims

2011-05-19 14:03
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II tours the National Stud in Kildare, on the third day of the Queen's four-day visit to Ireland. (Paul Ellis, AFP)

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II tours the National Stud in Kildare, on the third day of the Queen's four-day visit to Ireland. (Paul Ellis, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Queen Elizabeth II
    This fascinating book explores his long relationship with the Queen and the royal family. Now R350.00
    buy now
Dublin - Queen Elizabeth II expressed regret and "deep sympathy" to the victims of Britain and Ireland's turbulent shared history in a speech seen as setting a new tone in relations between the two countries.

Although the queen stopped short of a full apology for Britain's actions when it ruled Ireland, she said it was "impossible to ignore the weight of history", while those who lost their lives could never be forgotten.

Speaking at Dublin Castle, the former seat of British colonial power, on Wednesday night, she said: "With the benefit of historical hindsight we can all see things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all."

The queen's words add to the theme of reconciliation forged on an historic four-day visit in which she has laid wreaths to the victims of Ireland's independence struggle and visited the site of a massacre by British troops.

"It is a sad and regrettable reality that through history our islands have experienced more than their fair share of heartache, turbulence and loss," she said.

"These events have touched us all, many of us personally, and are a painful legacy. We can never forget those who have died or been injured, and their families.

Speech hailed

"To all those who have suffered as a consequence of our troubled past I extend my sincere thoughts and deep sympathy."

British newspapers hailed the speech, with The Times saying it would "help to define Anglo-Irish relations for years to come", and said it came "as close as anyone could have dared hope to apologising".

The speech was also well received in Ireland, although it came too late for newspaper editorials. Commentators have already praised the symbolism and significance of the wreath-laying ceremony earlier in the visit - ceremonies that would have been unthinkable until recently.

As the queen is a non-political figure with little formal power over her governments, it is not properly within her role to deliver apologies, but her remarks were effectively as close as she could go.

Irish President Mary McAleese said the first visit by a British sovereign to the republic since it won independence from London in 1922 was the "culmination of the success of the peace process", building on the 1998 Northern Irish peace accords.

"It is an acknowledgement that while we cannot change the past, we have chosen to change the future," she said in a speech.

Symbols of reconciliation


The banquet came after the queen visited Dublin's Croke Park stadium, where British forces killed 14 people in 1920 in a reprisal attack as Ireland's independence struggle raged.

For many Irish citizens, pictures of the British monarch at such a bastion of Irish freedom were the most powerful symbol of reconciliation.

The queen also laid a wreath at the Irish National War Memorial Garden to honour the 49 400 Irish soldiers killed fighting for Britain in World War I.

They were ignored for decades due to deep unease over them serving in British uniform during the independence struggle.

Following two highly-charged days, Thursday's programme was lighter, with a visit to the National Stud in Kildare, southwest of Dublin.

The queen takes a deep interest in horses and still rides at 85-years-old, and is likely to be in her element as she tours the National Stud, which promotes Irish bloodstock and services to breeders.

In the evening, the British embassy was to host its own celebration of the queen's state visit.

About 2 000 guests will be treated to a show of British and Irish fashion, Irish dancing and singing and actors giving readings from key Irish literary works.

Ireland has mounted the biggest security operation in its history with 10 000 police and troops guarding the queen, with the public largely kept at a distance due to the threat from dissident republicans violently opposed to the peace process.

Read more on:    queen elizabeth ii  |  uk  |  ireland
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is one of those days where the more positive and optimistic you are the more opportunities you seem to attract....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.