Thursday, May 19, 2011

Queen Elizabeth in Ireland - Day Two (part four) - Visit to Croke Park, site of 1920's Bloody Sunday

The monarch's journey of reconciliation continued during her first trip to the Irish Republic. The 85-year-old visited Croke Park - the scene of one of the darkest episodes in the history of British-Irish relations.
It was at this football ground – now an 82,000-seater stadium – in 1920 that British soldiers shot dead 13 spectators and one player during a Gaelic football match.
This was in retaliation for the death of 14 British intelligence agents at the hands of the Irish Republican Army.

Wearing yellow, the monarch was greeted by officials at the stadium – the home of Ireland's Gaelic Athletic Association. They had pledged to give her a warm welcome, and certainly delivered on that promise. After receiving a tour of the locker room and the stadium facilities, the Queen was led out onto the pitch.
The visit was the perhaps the most significant of her trip in acknowledging past wrongs committed by Britain during its years of ruling Ireland.

 Queen Elizabeth and the President of the GAA, Christy Cooney, where she took a tour of the changing rooms and met with GAA sports stars, from Left: Hurlers Lar Corbett, and Padraic Maher from Tipperary, Footballer Kevin Nolan from Dublin, and Footballer Joe Sheridan from Meath.

Queen Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh pictured at Croke Park in Dublin, where they were presented with a Hurley and sliotar by the President of the GAA.

                                    Departing Croke Park