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quarta-feira, 18 de maio de 2011

The Queen goes Irish

      The Queen visited the Guinness storehouse in Dublin on this second day of her historic four-day visit to the Republic of Ireland. 
      This cartoon by Dave Brown from The Independent represents a map of the British Isles. The Queen is Great Britain, drinking a glass of Guinness (Ireland) through a straw. She is dressed in green (the colour most associated with Ireland, the Emerald Isle), and wearing a leprechaun's hat.

On Tuesday, Queen Elizabeth will become the first British monarch to visit the Republic of Ireland since 1911. Sounds nice enough. Except for a bomb threat -- issued presumably by the Irish Republican Army.

France 24 reports London police are on high alert.

Reporter: “Now police operation and contingency planning remain on the constant reviews here in the UK. A wide range of overt and covert tactics to be told will continue to be used in London. But it is really a headache for the police because given that kind of warning, a bomb warning for central London with no specific location and no time is really a difficult one to handle.”

Despite years of mostly peaceful co-existence, Ireland’s dissent against British rule remains steadfast in many quarters.
CNN airs some of the grievances still in place and why police are taking the threat so seriously.
“Firstly the ongoing British ongoing occupation in six counties. Secondly, Britain’s role in the ongoing role in the invasions and pre-occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.  And thirdly, given that it’s an absolute waste of money.”
“They’ve built up their engineering skills. Their ability to attack.  And they’ve also come together to form a more coherent sort of organization.”

The BBC notes, this visit isn’t just a walk in the park for the Queen.  It’s a visit -- to some of Ireland’s most hallowed grounds.

“The fact that the Queen will visit both the Islandbridge memorial in Dublin, commemorating the Irish who died in the service of the British Army, and the Garden of Remembrance, commemorating those who fought for Irish independence against the British empire, is an indication of the attempt to recognise, and respect, the different allegiances on the island.”

Finally, The Guardian notes, if this visit can go off without a hitch, both the UK and Ireland have much to gain.

"The Queen's visit and that of Barack Obama's next week are being seen as a rare chance to give Ireland the kind of positive international exposure that money can't buy. In these stricken times, the Irish will cling to anything for a few tourist dollars. Unless some lunatic wing gets the better of the security forces, the Queen's visit will cement business relations between the two countries.... relations between the two countries have never been better than they are now.”

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