By Eoin Kelleher
SINN Fein in South Tipperary is strenuously objecting to the Queen of England’s visit to the Premier County later this month, following a meeting of the party members in Cashel last week.
A letter of objection sent to the Tipperary Star, comes following weekend reports that security services here were dismayed that the Department of Justice released the full itinerary of the Queen’s visit to the press, including the exact time and date of the Queen’s visit to Cashel.
A well co-ordinated security operation is being put in place around the Rock of Cashel, including sweeping for bombs and other devices.
Last week, Sinn Féin Councillors in South Tipperary met in Cashel to discuss the party’s response to the visit. “If one were to read the reports in the local media in relation to the upcoming visit of the British Monarch, you could be forgiven for assuming that all and sundry in Tipperary were delighted by the upcoming event,” stated spokesperson Kevin Brunnick.
“Such is the one sided nature of the reporting that we (the undersigned) felt an obligation to write and make clear that we object to the presence in our county of the Commander-in-chief of the British armed forces while the very same armed forces occupy a part of our country.
“The reporting on Cashel Town Council’s ‘unanimous’ decision to invite the Queen to Cashel is particularly erroneous as Cllr Michael Browne, the Mayor of Cashel, who was unable to attend the council meeting due to ill health, is completely opposed to the visit.
“The Queen’s visit to Ireland will coincide with the anniversary of the 1974 Dublin-Monaghan bombings. The scheduling of the visit on the anniversary is particularly insensitive,” added Mr Brunnick.
Sinn Féin maintain that the Dublin and Monaghan bombings were carried out with the involvement of British military intelligence.
“The British authorities have repeatedly refused to release the files in their possession on this attack and despite an all-party Dáil motion the Irish Government, have failed to press the British for the release of these files,” said Mr Brunnick.
“This year is also the 30th anniversary of the 1981 Hunger strikes and the deaths of ten brave Irishman, as a result of the British Government’s attempt to criminalise those who opposed their rule in Ireland. “Much has been made by the media and certain politicians of the boost to tourism and the local economy generally that will occur due to the visit. This, of course, is simply speculation. What we know for certain is that the Irish state is going to pick up a security bill running into the millions.
“Think of what those millions could do for Cashel if not spent on security,” added Mr Brunnick. “The special needs assistants that were let go from our schools could be brought back. Business rates could be reduced in order to help local business create employment. As such, the visit to Ireland of the British Monarch will always be objectionable to some.
“There may come a day when this will not be the case, but for that day to come the people of Ireland, North and South, will have to be the masters of their own destiny.
“That day has not yet arrived and as such we oppose the presence of the British Monarch and we will be in Cashel on the day of the visit to voice our opposition in peaceful protest,” concluded the letter, signed: Cllr Michael Browne - Mayor of Cashel. Cllr Liam Walsh (Carrick on Suir), Cllr Séamie Morris (Nenagh), Cllr David Doran (Thurles). Martin Browne (Chairperson Cashel Sinn Fein).