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How will Ireland greet Queen Elizabeth's historic visit?

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Speaking after a meeting with his British counterpart in April, Prime Minister Enda Kenny said: “I made the point that the vast majority of Irish people will welcome very warmly the Queen to Ireland.”

Mr. Kenny previously described the event as a sign of the “growing up of two countries and two peoples.”

It’s a view shared by Vincent O’Doherty, vice chairman of the British Irish Association, a group that encourages cooperation between the two countries.

“It comes logically from the 1998 referendum [in support of the peace process in Northern Ireland]. At some stage relations between the two countries have to be normalized and visits of heads of state are part of that,” he says.

A taciturn public

The public, however, is thus far notable by its absence. It is unimaginable that a crowd won’t turn out, at least to glimpse the spectacle, but the general response has been taciturn – despite Irish public distaste for British monarchy being at an all-time low after the recent wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

“I don’t really care if she comes or not,” says Paul Cunningham, a stonemason who lives in rural County Donegal. “Maybe people in Dublin feel differently, but I doubt it.”

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