The Queen's speech
Madam, – An Elizabethan conquest of Ireland through the medium of the Queen’s Irish? – Yours, etc,
Madam, – I listened with incredulity to all the commentators discussing, dissecting, and highlighting the importance of certain sentences and key words within the Queen’s speech in Dublin Castle. None, however, picked up on the two most important words of all: “Uachtaráin” and “chairde”. Most thought it was a nice touch, or quaint. I believe it was no coincidence that Her Majesty used these two words first.
The Irish language was ruthlessly suppressed by the crown for centuries; the fact that her majesty used these two words first symbolises the crown’s recognition of Ireland’s independence and her culture (the Irish language) “A chairde” extends the hand of friendship from one equal partner to another, not the superior to the suppressed.
Wake up journalists! – Yours, etc,
A chara, – Here is the story of the Queen’s first State visit thus far. She came wearing green and St Patrick’s blue and smiling. She broke bread with us. She bowed her head in honour of those who fought against her country for Irish freedom. She acknowledged our war dead. She saw our books and dance, listened to our music, and tread our hallowed sporting ground. Wearing our national symbol, the harp on her breast, astonishingly, she addressed us in our native language. The overwhelming public mood is one of national pride and interest in this historic visit, yet puzzlement at what all the fuss has been about. We can’t get enough of her; we can’t get near her.
In less than two days and in fewer than four words of Irish you could say she came, she saw and she conquered! Maybe this is what Sinn Féin have been warning us about all these years? – Is mise,
Madam, – On Wednesday night, speaking of the economic challenges facing these islands, the Queen stated: “our individual responses will be all the stronger for working together and sharing the load”. She surely meant “by dumping the load on the poor, the weak, and the vulnerable, so that wealthy people like me can be kept in the style to which we’re accustomed.” – Yours, etc,
Madam, – On reading Her Majesty’s speech followed by President Mary McAleese’s speech, I am so proud to be Irish. To all who made the past few momentous days possible, congratulations. Long may the goodwill last. God knows, we as a nation need to re-gather our sense of pride and move forward. – Yours, etc,
Madam, – I had access to Austrian, German and French television coverage of the above. Unfortunately, they focused on the protesters and when speaking to anybody here in Salzburg about the success of the Queen’s visit and the moving speeches and scenes which I have observed on RTÉ online, they respond by referring to the bomb scares.
Such a shame that some foreign media seem to have missed the point and the significance of this visit and chose to focus on the small minority who wished to cause trouble. Their reporting would certainly not do any good for tourism in Ireland. – Yours, etc,
Madam, – Uachtaráin agus a Chairde. These words were enough! The winds of change are shifting and they are warm. May our children and our grandchildren see the benefits of these historic and cathartic days. – Yours,etc,
Madam, – Can I warmly welcome Queen Elizabeth’s description of northern Ireland as “A knot of history” to be “painstakingly loosened”? I find an eloquence in that metaphor which would flatter a poet laureate. The Queen has spoken, I trust her loyal subjects have listened. I hope others, less inclined to listen, will now check if they are pulling on the right cord. – Yours, etc,