May 17 - The first visit by a British monarch to Ireland since independence begins as Queen Elizabeth lands in Dublin and meets Irish president Mary McAleese. Simon Hanna reports.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth begins an historic visit to Ireland. Her presence here marks the first visit by a British monarch to Ireland since independence from London in 1921. The visit is designed to show how warm neighbourly relations have replaced centuries of animosity between the two nations. Even the Queen's choice of attire - emerald green - was a symbol of unity. But the intense security operation surrounding the visit was an indication that tension remains. On the first day of the four day visit, the Queen and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh met with Irish president Mary McAleese. There was all the normal pomp and ceremony associated with the visit of heads of state, with the Queen reviewing a Guard of Honour who gave her a 21-gun salute. It's clear though that not everyone in Ireland wants to extend such warm greetings to the monarch. The visit took place just ours after a makeshift bomb was found in the luggage compartment of a bus heading to Dublin. While the Irish President is a champion of better relations between the two countries, dissident nationalists have said the Queen is not welcome on Irish soil. Simon Hanna, Reuters.