The Parliament Blog

Queen Makes First Visit to Catholic Church in Northern Ireland

Photo from Press Eye Ltd.

The Queen arrives in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.

by Caroline Davies

from The Guardian

On the eve of her historic meeting with the former IRA commander Martin McGuinness, the Queen began her two-day tour of Northern Ireland on Tuesday by visiting a community that suffered one of the most notorious IRA attacks.

The Queen joined Catholic and Protestant leaders in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, scene of the Remembrance Day bombing which killed 11 people and injured 63 others 25 years ago. Crowds gathered in the wind and rain to watch her attend a service of thanksgiving in the Anglican St Macartin’s Cathedral, then cross the road to St Michael’s Roman Catholic church, where she met members of the community.

It was the first time in her 60-year reign the Queen had set foot in a Catholic church in Northern Ireland. But then this visit, probably the most significant she has made to the province, has promised some ground-breaking moments. Chief among them is the much-anticipated meeting between McGuinness, the Sinn Féin deputy first minister, and the Queen, the ultimate symbol of British rule in Ireland

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