A visit by the Queen of England to Derry has been condemned by Republican Sinn Féin.
A spokesman for the organisation, who witnessed the massive security operation in place before they landed, said that she was unwelcome in the city where her Paratroopers murdered fourteen men on Bloody Sunday.
“A massive security operation was in place all day around Campsie and Eglinton. Now the purpose of the operation has become clear.
“RUC personnel in both Land Rovers and unmarked cars were in the area in strength. Helicopters were also hovering over the area all day. A motorcade eventually emerged with a huge number of motorcycles with lights flashing.
“Another eyewitness in the vicinity of the airport said that snipers were on top of the rooftops at the airport before Mrs. Windsor walked over to a motorcade and was driven off at speed.”
The spokesman added that “Derry is the place where her army murdered fourteen people on Bloody Sunday. It is also still held under British jurisdiction at the point of a gun. As such, she is not welcome in Derry or indeed in any part of Ireland.”
Accompanied by “Prince Phillip” and British Direct Ruler Shaun Woodward, the Queen visited the recently opened Lisneal College on the city’s predominatly Protestant Waterside.
There to greet them were around 100 primary school children from the loyalist Fountain area of Derry.
Later, in a event which received no advance publicity, she congratulated Ireland’s Grand Slam-winning rugby team at Hillsborough Castle, her “official residence in Ireland”.
President Mary McAleese and former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern also joined the celebrations outside Belfast. News and photographs of the event were seen as attempting to prepare the 26 County population for a “historic” if highly contentious British royal visit to the 26 Counties in the near future.
Mr Ahern repeated his previous view that a visit to the 26 Counties by the Queen will only happen after policing and justice powers are devolved from London to Belfast.