Kerry Sinn Féin (SF) TD Deputy, Martin Ferris, is the latest of a number of political sources in Ireland to voice opposition to the prospect of a State visit to by the British Queen, Elizabeth II.
Ferris described the proposed royal visit as “insensitive” and said that it was the wrong time for such a proposed visit when there were still “an awful lot of outstanding issues” regarding British armed forces in Ireland and the activities
of British Intelligence who have recently established a new base in the North.
Ferris also questioned the timing saying “I think that it is very insensitive, coming as it is just a week after the Saville Inquiry exposed the murder of 14 people in Derry by British paratroopers of which the queen is commander in-chief”.
Many of those directly involved in the coordination and implementation of the military action on Bloody Sunday were subsequently decorated by the British Queen.
Ferris said “I think it is highly insensitive. I think it is very divisive. I think it is the wrong time. For many people it is the wrong time and as an Irish republican, I’m totally and absolutely opposed to the concept of a monarchy at
all,” the Sinn Féin politician remarked.
Other individuals and groups have also expressed disquiet.
Republican Sinn Fein (RSF) has been strident in its opposition ever since the proposals were first mooted and it has pledged to demonstrate vigorously should the visit go ahead.
Dublin councilor, Louise Minihan a member of éirigi (the socialist republican political party) said the visit would be “entirely inappropriate”.
Although there is some support amongst the `West Brit’ journalist fraternity and some of the Dublin political `glitterati’ it is unclear how widespread any support for such a visit is.
Although relations between the United Kingdom and Ireland have improved in recent years there are still a range of unresolved issues. The result of the Saville Inquiry was a significant step forward. However the activities of British Army murder-gangs (including the killing of Seamus Ludlow) over the past thirty years is still a closed chapter and the certainty of British involvement in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings has still not been acknowledged.
A visit by the British Queen is almost certain to reopen old wounds rather than bring about any rapprochement.
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information