Irish Republican News · April 28, 2006
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Monarchs not wanted

Britain’s ‘Duke of Edinburgh’, Philip Mountbatten, joined Irish President Mary McAleese as guest of honour at an awards ceremony in Dublin today despite protests by republicans.

The Duke of Edinburgh also paid a courtesy visit to 26-County Taoiseach Bertie Ahern at government buildings.

The visit was widely seen as a precursor to a visit to Dublin next year by the English queen Elizabeth Windsor.

Her presence is intended to convey an improved relationship between the 26 County state and its former colonial rulers. However, visits by the English monarchy are strongly opposed by republicans, particularly Republican Sinn Fein.

“Despite what the establishment in the 26 counties wants us to believe, our relationship with the British state is an abnormal one. They still claim and enforce militarily control over six counties, said Des Dalton, vice-president of Republican Sinn Fein.

“So therefore on that basis he [Philip Mountbatten] is not welcome here.”

Mountbatten was guest of honour at a special joint awards ceremony in the National Concert Hall to mark the 21st anniversary of Gaisce - The President’s Award - and the 50th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

Mr Dalton said he believed the visit was part of preparations for a future visit by the English queen.

“We would organise protests against that visit just like we did against the loyalist march in Dublin earlier this year,” he said.

“I think that loyalist march was partly about checking the temperature about how people feel about a visit.”

The counterprotest to the Love Ulster parade in Dublin in February disintegrated into the worst riots seen in the capital in more than two decades.

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© 2006 Irish Republican News