Britain’s Queen has acknowledged the turbulent history between her country and Ireland on day two of her landmark visit to the country.
But she and the Irish President stressed the progress made in creating strong bonds today.
Irish President Mary McAleese: “This visit is a culmination of the success of the peace process. It is an acknowledgement that while we, none of us, can change the past, we have chosen to change the future.”
The speeches came at a state banquet in Dublin Castle.
Queen Elizabeth said:“With the benefit of historical hindsight, we can all see things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all. But it is also true that no-one who looked to the future over the past centuries could have imagined the strength of the bonds that are now in place between the governments and people of our two nations.”
The Queen’s words had added meaning on the day she visited the scene of a massacre by British troops in 1920. This is the first state visit by a British monarch to Ireland since it won its independence.