Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Her majesty's a pretty nice girl...

Retired Canadian journalists Cyril Fox and Carl Mollins, whose careers included years based in London, England, with Reuters news service, assert that London-based Queen Elizabeth deserves an international award as she approaches her 50th year in office next year.

Surely, they say, Her Maj deserves award of the annual Nobel Peace Prize for her promotion of peace between Ireland and England on her May 17-20 visit to Ireland—90 years after the Anglo-Irish Treaty, while creating the independent Irish Free State, failed to erase hostility, even acts of terrorism, ever since.

The warmth of the Queen’s actions and words on her visit , virtually apologetic at times, widely prompted conclusions that she may well have helped erase the decades of conflict in manner and physical combat on both sides of the Irish Sea.

As the U.K. Guardian newspaper put it: “The Queen offered Ireland the nearest the royal family has ever come to an apology for Britain's actions in the tortured relations between the two countries.”

As she said in a Dublin speech to citizens of both the northern and southern Irish communities:

"It is a sad and regrettable reality that through history our islands have experienced more than their fair share of heartache, turbulence and loss . . . with the benefit of historical hindsight we can all see things which we wish had been done differently, or not at all."

Queen gives Ireland closest royals have come to apology for Britain's actions

Irish eyes are smiling: show of respect turns Queen into runaway favourite

The Dublin brigade of the IRA attacks and sets fire to the Customs House in Dublin in May 1921.
  Initial success turns to disaster, however, when they are surrounded.
Nearly 120 IRA men surrender in one of the biggest setbacks in the organisation's history.
Dual elections Elections are held on both sides of the new border.
Sinn Fein wins 124 of the 128 seats in the south.
  In the North, the Ulster Unionists take 40 out of 52 seats, the Nationalists and Sinn Fein win six each.
Sir James Craig forms a government in the north.
  First Ulster parliament This new body assembles on June 7 1921 and is formally opened 15 days later by King George V, who appeals for peace.  
    Truce In July, the IRA agrees to a ceasefire. Sinn Fein leader Eamon de Valera begins talks in London with Prime Minister Lloyd George.  Craig refuses to attend.
  Anglo-Irish Treaty Formal negotiations begin in October and an agreement is eventually signed on December 6, 1921.
The 26 southern counties will become an independent Irish Free State while the six northern counties will remain part of the UK. The treaty sets up a boundary commission to draw the dividing line according to local wishes.
  Treaty approved The Dail Eireann votes 64-57 in January 1922 to accept the treaty after a bitter debate in which those backing the deal are accused of treachery. . . . .
  Irish Civil War A June general election in the Free State is won by those supporting the Anglo-Irish Treaty.
Soon after, two IRA men in London kill Sir Henry Wilson, a British general and security adviser to the Northern Ireland government. The Free State government acts against those opposed to the Treaty and civil war breaks out in the south.
  Up to 5,000 people are killed before the fighting ends in 1923 with victory for the Dublin government.
Among the casualties is Michael Collins, one of the signatories of the Treaty, who is shot dead by anti-Treaty republicans in August 1922

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