MUSINGS ON A ROYAL VISIT

  • The Queen is very small!
  • When she smiles her whole face lights up. And when she does smile it seems to be genuine because she doesn’t do it too often!
  • Mary McAleese is some President – and then some.
  • Our defence forces are great. They look smart, do a great drill and have lots of women. And I like the air corps uniform best!
  • Ritual and symbolism carry a very potent power.
  • I feel more secure knowing we have a nice neighbour.
  • Sinn Fein made a most unusual error of judgement in not attending the events of the last few days. It seems like everyone else is moving forward and they are left on the sidelines.
  • The GAA could have involved a few more girls and women in their presentation of their organisation! An exhibition match – even on a reduced pitch with children would have looked better than the Queen and President sitting on chairs on the sidelines watching a video! (Although these observations really confirm that you can take the GAA out of the Parish but you can’t take the Parish out of the GAA).
  • The Queen travelled to and from events in a lovely, sparkling Land Rover but she had a small issue getting out of the vehicle when she had to achieve a sort of slide and jump down to ground level. Could a little step not have been provided?
  • Olivia O Leary is a national treasure. I want to hear more from her.
  • Banrion Eilis a Do has a gorgeous ring to it.
  • I would love to know what vitamins Her Majesty takes – her stamina for a woman of her age is impressive.
  • Prince Philip was a disappointment – he didn’t put his foot in it once!
  • I personally am most grateful to Her Majesty for knocking the economy, bail out and banks off the front pages and the airwaves for almost a week. I feel like I have been on holidays.
  • Poor Barack has a really hard act to follow!
  • Finally, it was a joy to watch President Mary McAleese who was pivotal in getting this visit off the ground, playing such a magnificent role on our behalf. It does rather make one wonder if Presidential candidate, David Norris could achieve the same effect.

All in all this State Visit has been a rollercoaster of joy and emotion. Led by our female Heads of State, Ireland and the UK have come a long way along the road to reconcilation during these momentous four days. And it feels good. Very good.