British Monarch Arrives in Northern Ireland

Posted June 26th, 2012 at 3:30 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Britain's Queen Elizabeth met with relatives of people killed in an Irish Republican Army bomb attack 25 years ago in the Northern Ireland town of Enniskillen.

The 86-year-old monarch and her husband, Prince Philip, were welcomed to the seaside town by scores of villagers waving British flags.

Enniskillen was the scene of one of the bloodiest attacks in the decades-long violent struggle waged by the Irish Republican Army against British rule. Eleven people were killed by an IRA bomb in 1987 during a ceremony paying tribute to Britain's war dead, an incident which shocked the world and set in motion serious peace talks.

After the meeting, the queen and her husband visited the town's Catholic church, the first time she has done so in her 20 visits to Northern Ireland.

On Wednesday, Queen Elizabeth will travel to Belfast Wednesday for a one-on-one meeting with Martin McGuinness, a former IRA leader-turned first minister of Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein, the IRA's political arm, continues to oppose British rule in Northern Ireland.

This is the queen's 20th visit to Northern Ireland.

The two-day visit marks her 60th year on the throne — as well as the peace that has generally held there since the 1998 Good Friday accords.