May 25, 2013
British queen to visit Irish republic
Queen Elizabeth will visit some of the most symbolic memorials of Ireland's struggle for independence from Britain when she travels to the republic next month, Buckingham Palace said.
The 84-year-old monarch's itinerary between May 17-20 will include Croke Park stadium in Dublin, where British troops killed 14 people in 1920 in retaliation for the assassination of undercover British agents during Ireland's war of independence.
A stand in the stadium still bears the name of a Gaelic football player, Mark Hogan, who was killed in the shootings known afterwards as "Bloody Sunday."
She will also go to the Garden of Remembrance, a memorial in the Irish capital dedicated to the memory of those who died fighting for freedom from Britain.
The state visit is the first by a British monarch since before Ireland gained its independence in 1921.
The choice of locations underlines how relations have blossomed between the two countries, particularly since a 1998 peace deal ended three decades of anti-British violence in Northern Ireland.
The queen's cousin Lord Louis Mountbatten was killed in 1979 by an Irish Republican Army bomb on his boat in northwest Ireland.
Her trip will also include a visit to the National War Memorial Gardens in Dublin, dedicated to the memory of 49,400 Irish soldiers who died fighting for Britain in World War I.
She will also travel to the Guinness Storehouse where Ireland's famous stout beer is brewed, and indulge her passion for horses with a trip to Ireland's National Stud in Kildare.
The last British monarch to visit Ireland was King George V, who went in 1911.