There were two developments that were particularly positive
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Queen Elizabeth’s historic State visit to Ireland continues today with a packed itinerary in Dublin, taking in the Guinness Storehouse, Government Buildings, the War Memorial at Islandbridge and Croke Park.
A tweet from the BBC's Mark Simpson:
SF's Gerry Adams on Queen's speech - "I believe her expression of sincere sympathy for those who have suffered ... is genuine."
UPDATE 17.28: More than 5,000 articles in 95 countries were written and published in 95 countries in relation to the first 24 hours of the Queen's visit.
UPDATE 16.01: The Queen leaves Croke Park and will have a couple of hours respite before a State dinner in her honour begins at 7.30pm in Dublin Castle. For updates between now and then, check out the author's Twitter (@SineadOCarroll).
She will make her only speech of the trip at the dinner, which will also be attended by British PM David Cameron.
The menu for tonight:
Cured salmon with Burren smoked salmon cream and lemon balm jelly, horseradish and wild watercress, Kilkenny organic cold pressed rapeseed oil
Rib of Slaney Valley Beef, ox cheek and tongue with smoked champ potato and fried spring cabbage, new season broad beans and carrots with pickled and wild garlic leaf
Carrageen set West Cork cream with Meath strawberries,
fresh yoghurt mousse and soda bread sugar biscuits,
Irish apple balsamic vinegar meringue
Irish Cheese Plate
Tea and Coffee
Château de Fieuzal, 2005, Graves Pessac-Léognan
Château Lynch-Bages, 1998, Pauillac
Executive Chef: Ross Lewis
Caterers: With Taste
UPDATE 15.53: In his speech, Cooney told the Queen her decision to visit Croke Park would advance the now irreversible peace process.
"Your presence does honour to our Association, its place in Irish life and its hundreds of thousands of members", he told her.
The GAA is deeply rooted in communities in Ireland, Britain and the world, he said.
"Our ethos is profoundly voluntary and amatuer but at the pinnacle our teams and players treat huge crowds with their skill, courage and commitment," he told the Queen, adding that the Association offers boys, girls and adults huge social opportunities.
He gave examples of the links between Britain and Ireland that have enriched both lands but added we are all aware of the "tragic events" that have occurred in the shared history that have "inflicted hurt".
He told Queen Elizabeth that the GAA has endorsed, encouraged and played a part of the peace process.
UPDATE 15.41: Prince Philip presented with a hurl and sliotar and Christy Cooney tells him it can be used in the backyard.
The Queen presented with a leather-bound copy of the book, The GAA: A People's History
UPDATE 15.39: Elizabeth II examines the Sam Maguire and Liam McCarthy cups.
Christy Cooney starts his speech and says the GAA constantly captures the mood of the nation - culturally, socially and politically.
UPDATE 15.35: No players but the Presidents of the Camogie and Ladies Football associations are present and will meet the Queen.
UPDATE 15.26:World champion traditional set dancers perform for the monarch and she shows her appreciation with a round of applause.
She now meets former presidents of the Association.
UPDATE 15.19: Like every other big day in Croke Park, the Artane Band plays (formally the Artane Boys Band but girls allowed now).
Image courtesy of @RTENewsNow on Twitpic
UPDATE 15.15: Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth and Mary McAleese sit to watch a short video explaining the GAA and its place in Irish society.
UPDATE 15.14: No female presence in the dressing room area - footballers and hurlers but no camogie or ladies football players. Seems like a missed opportunity.
UPDATE 15.06: Four intercounty players are meeting the Queen in the dressing room area. They include 2010 All-Ireland Hurling winner Padraig Maher, Meath footballer Joe Sheridan and Dublin footballer Kevin Nolan.
Christy Cooney attempts to explain the game of hurling and the Queen examines a hurl and sliotar. Elizabeth II has plenty of questions about hurling - asked Cooney how fast the ball travels. She shows surprise when the boys tell her they started playing the game of hurling at age 5 or 6.
UPDATE 15.04: The Queen's dresser Angela Kelly has been busy again. This time, the Queen has changed into a light yellow coat and matching hat with pink feathers. She has swapped the black gloves for white ones.
She was greeted by a traditional bodhrán welcome.
UPDATE 15.03: Queen Elizabeth arrives in Croke Park with President Mary McAleese and GAA President Christy Cooney
UPDATE 14.58: Croke Park has been central to many historic moments in Irish history and today events have been brought full circle. The GAA has transformed itself from an organisation which banned members of the British police forces from playing its games to one which has invited the Queen of England into its home.
Last month, GAA President Christy Cooney carried the coffin of murdered PSNI officer Ronan Kerr - another symbol of the change that has occured since rules 21 and 42 were lifted.
The GAA has been open to reflecting changes in Ireland since the Good Friday Agreement. Rule 21 was lifted to allow police officers in Northern Ireland to play both football and hurling and then in 2005 Croke Park opened its field to allow to other so-called "foreign" supports.
This led to epic games between Ireland and England in both soccer and rugby.
UPDATE 14.57: 34 children in county colours are lined up outside the stadium awaiting the Queen's arrival
UPDATE 14.56: Legendary sports broadcaster Mícheál O Muircheartaigh calls Croke Park the "spiritual home" of Irish people living in Ireland and across the world.
UPDATE 14.28: Reuters calls Queen Elizabeth II's imminent visit to Croke Park one of the most "daring diplomatic engagements" of her reign.
"In her four-day state visit the queen has shown a determination to address the bloody past and offer powerful gestures of reconciliation," reports the British site of the newswire.
UPDATE 13.13: A small group of Eirigi Party members came to Kilmainham Gaol today to protest the fact that there were UDA members present at today's memorial service.
Gardaí prevented the protestors from moving towards the Garden of Remembrance.
UPDATE 12.46: Up next - Croke Park. Another significant site for British/Irish relations.
The Gaelic Athletic Association's headquarters was the site of the 1920 Bloody Sunday shootings. During a gaelic football match, British soldiers shot dead 13 spectators and one player.
The GAA has said it will warmly welcome the Queen to its now 82,000-seater stadium. The visit is said to be another huge step to keep the past in the past and reconcile relations fully between Britain and Ireland.
UPDATE 12.42: Robinson confirms his wife, retired politician Iris Robinson, will attend the State dinner in honour of the Queen tonight in Dublin Castle.
UPDATE 12.34: Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson called the ceremony a "significant moment for both British and Irish history".
"Well it was solemn event but I cannot help but remark on how natural and relaxed people were. It was a historic moment but over recent years, we seem to have swept aside in recent years," he told RTE.
He said he did not have a moment's hestitation in accepting the invitation. He said the absence of a Sinn Fein representative was "disappointing", stating the party had missed an opportunity.
However, he commended the party for taking up a position of "quiet neutrality" on the visit.
UPDATE 12.30: Queen Elizabeth leaves Islandbridge after taking a tour of the garden and granite paved pergolas which house illuminated volumes recording the names of all the dead.
She was also shown the wooden Ginchy Cross in the same bookroom. Built by the 16th (Irish) Division, the cross was originally erected on the Somme to commemorate 4,354 men of the 16th who died in two engagements.
UPDATE 12.16: Upbeat and lively version of Amhrán na bhFiann played to end the ceremony
UPDATE 12.10: Impeccable minute-silence observed. Only sound is the Garda helicopters overhead.
UPDATE 12.03: Queen arrives to the Memorial Garden and is greeted by McAleese and Environment Minister Phil Hogan.
"God Save The Queen" is played and the Queen lays the poppy wreath in honour of 50,000 Irish soldiers who fought in World War I.
Mary McAleese also lays a wreath.
UPDATE 11.56: President Mary McAleese arrives at the War Memorial. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip to follow.
UPDATE 11.53: Dignataries are all gathered in Islandbridge. Sinn Féin only one of the main parties without a representative.
UPDATE 11.42: Queen Elizabeth leaves Government Buildings. Applause could be heard from onlookers in the distance. On route now for a ceremony in the War Memorial in Islandbridge to honour those Irish soldiers who fought for Britain during the two World Wars.
UPDATE 11.38: The Queen is shown old documents following her meeting with Kenny.
The Queen waves to onlookers outside Government buildings.
Image from Twitpic (@bardonsarah)
UPDATE 11.28: Here's an interesting fact from a former member of the Trinity Boat Club, emailed to Business and Leadership. The university's boat club is located in the War Memorial Park in Islandbridge - the Queen's next stop.
"Islandbridge is the hub of rowing in the city with Trinity's being the only boat house in the south river bank. Each year at the Trinity Regatta the medals are cast from the original die of the 1898 medal featuring Queen Elizabeth I’s head, as she gave the charter to found the university."
UPDATE 11.25: Not a huge amount of politics or business will be discussed today between the Queen and the Taoiseach. It is more a courtesy call. Serious stuff later when Kenny meets Cameron.
UPDATE 11.20: She looked but didn't touch!
Image courtesy of RTE News on Twitpic (@rtenews)
UPDATE 11.15: Queen Elizabeth shown the impressive works of art in the Government buildings on the way to Kenny's office. She paused with the Taoiseach in front of the colourful stain glass window.
UPDATE 11.13: An Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has called the visit of the British Queen a success so far.
Speaking ahead of her tour of Croke Park later today, he said, it would lay to rest a chapter in Ireland's history.
UPDATE 11.11: Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Government buildings to meet An Taoiseach Enda Kenny again. He greets her on the steps of the building, along with his wife Fionnuala.
UPDATE 11.08: Ryan Tubridy quipped that he was a part-time tourguide for the day and invited the Queen to meet the "master brewer" at Guinness. Prince Philip seemed more interested in the processes of brewing the Black Stuff. However, he giggles through the brewer's speech about the "perfect pour" in six steps.
Seemingly, she did not taste it!
UPDATE 11.05: At the Guinness Storehouse, she stopped to wave at onlookers, who were kept at a distance.
This morning, the Queen wears another cream and turquoise, brocaded coat. This time, it has covered turquoise buttons. She wears it with a matching turquoise hat with white trimming and feathers. She carries a small, patent leather black handbag.
UPDATE 11.01: UTV is reporting that Peter Robinson, Margaret Ritchie and Tom Elliott are among guests gathering at Islandbridge. There were rumour circulating this morning that Irish Robinson would attend but there is no sign of her as yet.
UPDATE 10.54: The Queen is taking a tour of the Guinness Storehouse, which is being hosted by Ryan Tubridy.
The tour is the first official engagement of a very busy day for Her Majesty.
UPDATE 10.29: There are reports this morning that the Queen may "go off" itinerary today and will visit a nursing home in Leopardstown, where numerous survivors of the Second World War live.
The offiical itinerary includes the Guinness Storehouse at 10.30am, government buildings at 11.15am, the War Memorial at noon, Croke Park at 3pm and finally the State dinner at Dublin Castle at 7.30pm.
UPDATE 10.10: The Queen may sample "The Black Stuff" at the Guinness Storehouse today, according to the managing director Paul Carty.
She will receive a skyline tour of the city from the Gravity Bar, meet the masterbrewer and learn about the craft of making the famous beverage.
The red carpet has already been laid outside the Storehouse and Guinness reminded us this is not its first experience of a Royal Visit.
On April 4, 1900, Her Majesty Queen Victoria visited Dublin and travelled up the River Liffey. To mark the occasion, the Guinness Company put on flotilla of barges and erected a grandstand for employees along the river liffey to enjoy the spectacle. (Image courtesy of the Guiness archive)
UPDATE 09.24: Style Queen - although we could not confirm the designer of the Queen's second outfit yesterday, here are some extra details we've collected this morning.
Her first outfit, designed by Stewart Parvin, was a one-button coat in an Aer Lingus jade colour and a blue and green floral knee-length dress. The nod to Ireland's green seemed to be appreciated by the native media. The Queen, known for adding personal touches and motifs to her outfits, included St. Patrick's colour - blue - in the matching lining and dress. The Rachel Trevor Morgan-designed hat was finished off with flowers and feathers.
Her personal assistant, Liverpudlian Angela Kelly, is credited with the Queen's elegant and classic style.
There has been no details of the designer of the Queen's second outfit, which she wore to the Garden of Remembrance. It was a cream, brocaded coat with green floral trimming and no collar. There was also a matching hat.
Yesterday's black patent shoes got much Twitter love and the classic heels came from her favourite shoe label H&M Rayne.
The jewellery - a three-strand pearl necklace, pearl earrings and a silver bow-shaped brooch - also survived outfit changes and stayed the same throughout the day.
Her black bag was a 'Traviatta' by S. Launer of London - cost? €965
UPDATE 09.17: It's all about Ireland today in the UK as Prime Minister David Cameron hops on the short flight for his first official visit to Ireland.
She is also due to give her first and only speech at a State dinner in Dublin Castle tonight. She is expected to talk about the unique relationship and friendship between Ireland and the UK. Prime Minister David Cameron will also attend the black-tie event.
As the massive security operation continues today, disruptions to traffic will continue as parking is restricted and roads are closed. People have been urged to take public transport in Dublin today.
Queen Elizabeth is the first British monarch to visit the nation in 100 years.
Yesterday, Queen Elizabeth landed at noon at Baldonnel Aerodrome before she travelled to Arás an Uachtaráin to meet President Mary McAleese. She signed the visitor book at the President’s residence and planted an Irish Oak tree.
The most significant moment of the day came as she laid a wreath in the Garden of Remembrance in honour of Irish soldiers who fought for independence. She bowed her head before the minute silence during the ceremony, a hugely symbolic gesture that is actually quite rare for the monarch.
She later visited Trinity College where she met with staff and students in the magnificent Long Room after viewing the famous Book of Kells.
About 20 people were arrested for minor public order offences following scuffles between Eirigi Party protestors and Gardaí in the city centre. The Republican Eirigi Party held small demonstrations against the monarch's trip to Ireland.
The itinerary for the remainder of the trip:
Wednesday, May 18:
- A tour of the Guinness Storehouse
- Meet the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny at Government buildings
- Another wreath-laying ceremony at the Irish National War Memorial Garden (Islandbridge)
- Historic visit and tour of Croke Park, the GAA's HQ
- Dublin Castle for an official State dinner - the programme here will include the Queen's only speech of the visit
Thursday, May 19:
- Travel to the National Stud in Kildare
- British Embassy to host a special celebration evening at the Convention Centre, Dublin
Friday, May 20:
- Visit to Cashel's St. Patrick's Rock
- A trip to the English Market in Cork, followed by a viewing of the Tyndall National Institute
-Departure from Cork Airport