27 April 2006

Queen in terror plot

Irish Examiner

By John O'Mahony
Thursday, April 27, 2006

IN a move certain to cause a major security alert, hardline republicans in Kerry have warned that the safety of the Queen of England will be compromised if she goes ahead with a proposal to visit the county next year.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usIn an alarming statement issued to The Kingdom, a group calling itself the Kerry Command of the Continuity IRA warned that a visit by Queen Elizabeth would be “resisted with force”.

The statement, which was sent by email to the newsdesk of this newspaper, using a hard-to trace web-based email account, was accompanied by a digital photograph showing three men in military gear, brandishing weapons and wearing balaclavas. The were sitting at a table on which a tricolour and four bullets had been placed and the IRA slogan had been roughly daubed on a makeshift partition at their backs.

The statement says the volunteer seated in the picture, flanked by two armed and masked men, is formally reading the statement opposing the royal visit.

The six-paragraph statement, which contained a localised codeword and was signed by the Kerry Command of the CIRA, warned that any visit by the Queen of England to Kerry or any part of the country will be “fully opposed” by those who cherish the Irish nation and the goal of an All-Ireland republic.

“The Queen of England is not welcome and any such visit shall be resisted with all the force at our disposal,” the statement warned.

Sources close to the Irish and British governments have indicated that the visit by Queen Elizabeth and, possibly, other members of the royal family, will almost certainly go ahead after next year’s general election. It is further understood that a visit by the Queen to Kerry is very likely as she is anxious to retrace the steps of Queen Victoria who holidayed in the county in 1861 when she stayed at Muckross House in Killarney.

But the worrying CIRA statement insisted that a royal visit to Kerry would meet with firm republican resistance.

“The Kerry Command view with concern the preparation of public opinion for a visit to the county by the Queen of England next year to follow in the footsteps of Queen Victoria.

“We wish to state that we are totally opposed to any such proposed visit and speculation of such a visit must be viewed as yet further evidence of a desire to normalise British rule in Ireland,” the statement read.

The emailed statement went on to criticise the established politcal parties for attempting to “reclaim the republican tradition” with the celebrations to mark the 90th anniversary of the 1916 Rising.

“The fact remains that the Easter Rising of 1916 was an uprising against the unjust British rule and must be viewed as a watershed in the continued fight for Irish self-determination,” the statement continued.

“The revisionism must end and attempts to normalise British rule in Ireland must cease. It is time to reawaken the true spirit of Irish republicanism and continue to strive for the All-Ireland republic proclaimed on the steps of the GPO in 1916,” it added.

But it is the final paragraph that will cause real concern for the garda authorities and tourism industry chiefs who would welcome a royal visit to Kerry for economic reasons.

It warns that a visit by Queen Elizabeth would be resisted with “all the force at the disposal” of the Kerry Command of the CIRA.

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