Today as many of you know, the Queen has landed in Dublin on a historic visit, the first British Monarch to Ireland since independence. After meeting the President McAleese of Ireland, she will be visiting a memorial to those who fought for irish independence and again shows how far things have come. Despite the device found in Dublin this morning and the dissident bomb warning in London yesterday, I hope that this visit may be another step towards reconciliation and a maintaining of relations built on friendship and mutual respect.
From the plane, Her Highness descends,
She comes not to conquer,
A frail woman not an armour clad warrior.
Is the this the sign of a new beginning?
Will the pain of both sides be soothed,
Will the ghosts of the Famine, the Rising, the troubles be laid to rest,
An end to the falling of tears, to hatred, to hurt,
The Emerald isle for so long trapped under its spell,
Will we reconcile, will we finally love thy neighbour,
She comes to heal, to pay respect, to the ringing of the Peace Bell.