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UK queen arrives in Dublin

[ 2011-05-18 10:41]     字号 [] [] []  
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Britain's Queen Elizabeth arrived in Dublin on Tuesday for a historic state visit steeped in symbolism and surrounded by security after a makeshift bomb was found, highlighting the lingering hostility of a small minority.

The visit, the first by a British monarch since Ireland won

independence from London in 1921, is designed to show how warm neighborly relations have replaced centuries of animosity, and the queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, appeared unperturbed by the bomb alert.

The monarch, dressed in an emerald green coat and matching hat, was greeted by Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore upon arrival at Casement Aerodrome, a military air field named after a British diplomat executed in 1916 for aiding the Irish nationalist cause.

She met Ireland's President Mary McAleese, a Catholic from Northern Ireland and a champion of better relations between the two countries, for a ceremonial welcome followed by a lunch of roast turbot and boxty, a traditional Irish potato cake.

Standing before the president's house, the former residence of the viceroys who oversaw British rule in Ireland, the queen reviewed a guard of honor and was given a 21-gun salute.

In an overcast capital, local people shook their heads in disgust at the discovery of a bomb in the luggage compartment of a bus headed for Dublin.

"It's bad. They are dragging us into the dark ages," said Tom O'Neill, a 34-year-old salesman. "There are some people in Ireland who have to get over the whole English thing. They are our neighbors."

Militant nationalists opposed to British control of Northern Ireland are suspected of planting the device, which was destroyed in a controlled explosion by the army in Maynooth, 25 kilometers from Dublin, after a telephone warning to police.

Ireland is mounting its biggest ever security operation for the four-day visit and the arrival of US President Barack Obama two days later.

Streets across the capital were cordoned off, rows of barriers erected and some 4,000 police, backed up by 2,000 soldiers, patrolled the city center. Thousands of manholes have been sealed and suspected dissidents arrested and questioned.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

UK queen arrives in Dublin

UK queen arrives in Dublin

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China Daily for one year.