Taoiseach invites Queen to Ireland for 1916 commemorations

Taoiseach invites Queen to Ireland for 1916 commemorations

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has invited the Queen and members of the Royal family to take part in the 1916 centenary commemorations in Ireland in two years time.

Speaking at a business breakfast in Mansion House in London this morning, on the second day of President Higgins’ State visit, Kenny said the Irish Government would issue a formal invite to members of the British Royal family to come to Ireland in 2016.

Addressing an audience of 200 Irish business people, bankers, ambassadors from other European counties and members of Irish business networks in the UK, Kenny described the first State visit “momentous”.

He also said the Queen’s visit to Ireland in 2011 had an “enormous impact” on relations between the two countries.

“I was actually very pleased to hear the Queen herself speak last night saying that members of her family and her government would stand side-by-side with representatives from Ireland at appropriate commemorative ceremonies and government will work out what's the thing to do about this”, he commented.

Kenny acknowledged that the 1916 centenary events would be “quite sensitive” and must be “dealt with properly taking in all traditions”.

He also showed his support for to the decision to invite Martin McGuinness to attend at the State banquet last night and other events during the four day state visit.

"What I'll try to say here, which I think was endorsed by the Queen and the President yesterday evening that you cannot have a block of politics anchored in the past that does not allow for the next generation to move ahead”, he said this morning.

Lib Dem Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable also spoke at the event, as did The Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf who lauded Ireland’s economic progress.

She added that Ireland and the UK’s economic interests are “deeply entwined” adding “our success and our prosperity depend on one another”.

Kenny also he confirmed that he and David Cameron were in talks about organising a joint Trade Mission.