17 May 2011

LIVE BLOG: Queen’s historic state visit to Ireland

The Queen becomes the first British monarch to visit Ireland since Irish independence. Follow latest updates, video and comment from Dublin as the hugely symbolic trip unfolds.

Queen's Ireland visit: security in Dublin is on high alert.

Former Irish prime minister Brian Cowen, who formally invited the Queen last year, has said relations between Britain and Ireland have been transformed by the peace process.

“The vast, vast majority of the people of Ireland wanted to see this day come,” he said.

On Wednesday the Queen will visit Islandbridge to remember Ireland’s war dead. She will also go to Croke Park where 14 civilians were shot dead by British troops in 1920.

16.40: David Cameron is asked about the threat from Irish dissidents at a House of Commons liaison committee. The PM says relations between the UK and Ireland have never been stronger, calling the threats “hideous”. He said “we must do everything to keep communties together” and “cut off” those who choose violence.

Carl Dinnen tweets: That bit of the #queensvisit felt like Good Friday Agreement. Hard to believe it was happening.

16.00: The Queen tours Trinity College in Dublin where the Book of Kells is housed. One of Ireland‘s national treasures, it is an ancient manuscript created by Celtic monks but never finished.

The Queen and President Mary McAleese.

15.35: Channel 4 News reporter Carl Dinnen says there has been a disturbance at the demo against the Queen’s visit to Ireland. He says firecrackers were thrown as riot police pushed back crowds. Black balloons were also released, visible over the Garden of Remembrance. However, the ceremony passed largely undisturbed and police say the scuffles were contained.

15.30: The Irish poem Rinneadh Aisling Duinn (We saw a Vision) is read out before the Guard of Honour presented arms and the Last Post sounded, followed by the Irish national anthem.

There are forty shades of green opinion on the Queen’s visit to Ireland, with no clear division down the middle. Carl Dinnen

15.25: The Queen stands beneath a statue which represents “rebirth”. The British national anthem is played. The Queen lays a memorial wreath. Mary McAleese also lays her wreath – an act of joint reconciliation. A minute’s silence.

15.20: The Queen arrives at the Garden of Remembrance. The streets of Dublin are empty of crowds because of security concerns.

Latest from Channel 4 News: Ireland’s largest ever security operation

15.00: A motorcade of more than 30 bikes accompanies the Queen on a 15 minute journey to the Garden of Remembrance which opened in 1966, to commemorate soldiers who fought for Irish independence.

14.00: The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have lunch with President Mary McAleese following private talks.

More from Channel 4 News: Queen’s visit to Ireland: ‘we are ready now to move on’

13.20: A ceremonial tree-planting takes place in Áras – the Queen plants an Irish Oak sapling next to a tree Queen Victoria planted.

BLOG: ‘Even if you wanted to see the Queen, you’d struggle’ – Gary Gibbon blogs from Dublin.

12.30: Channel 4 News presenter and reporter in Ireland Carl Dinnen writes: “There are forty shades of green opinion on the Queen’s visit to Ireland, with no clear division down the middle. They range from the majority opinion (‘Isn’t it lovely to have her here’) through Sinn Fein (‘This isn’t the right time’) to the Real IRA (‘She’s a wanted war criminal’). But it doesn’t feel like a polarising issue. Even those who are firmly in favour understand the feelings of those who are against. Follow @carldinnen on Twitter.

12.15: The Queen and Prince Philip are driven to President Mary McAleese’s residence in the Phoenix Park, Aras an Uachtarain, for a ceremonial welcome.

Comment via Twitter: lizmcshane @channel4news Looks like Aer Lingus green!!

12.10: The debate on Twitter and Facebook is all about the coulor of the Queen’s outfit. Is it emerald green?

12.00: The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Baldonnel airport outside Dublin. Her Majesty is dressed in vivid green. She smiles and greets British Ambassador Julian King, Ireland’s Ambassador to the UK Bobby McDonagh and Ireland’s deputy prime minister, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore.

More from Channel 4 News: Queen’s Ireland visit aims to heal old wounds

The Queen visits Ireland – add your voice

The Queen is visiting Ireland on the first state visit by a British monarch since Irish independence. Ireland’s Troubles have dominated much of her reign – her cousin Lord Mountbatten was killed by the IRA in 1979.

The four-day visit will be marked by a series of symbolic gestures. She has laid a wreath at Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance – dedicated to those who died for Irish freedom.

Her Majesty will also visit Croke Park – where the 1920 Bloody Sunday uprising began. And she is due to make a speech at Dublin Castle which it is thought will have a theme of reconciliation.

Queen's Ireland visit: security in Dublin is on high alert. (Getty)

Prime Minister David Cameron arrives on Wednesday and will be at her side when she lays a wreath at another memorial – Islandbridge – which commemorates Irish soldiers who died in the world wars.

Hundreds of Gardai and soldiers are on standby. There have been a number of security scares in the run-up to the visit.

Bomb disposal experts made a device safe earlier after it was found in Maynooth, near Dublin. Irish police discovered it in the luggage compartment of a bus.

More from Channel 4 News: Queen makes historic Ireland visit amid IED threat

An army spokesman said: “An army bomb disposal team made safe a viable improvised explosive device overnight in Maynooth, Co Kildare.”

The remains of the device have been handed to the Irish police for investigation.