Eamon Gilmore welcomes Queen Elizabeth II

Today is day two of the State visit to Ireland by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. Yesterday saw the Queen's arrival beginning with a ceremonial welcome by President and Dr McAleese at Áras an Uachtaráin followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the Garden of Remembrance and a visit to Trinity College.

The Garden of Remembrance is a commemoration to those who died for Irish freedom and independence. The act of Queen Elizabeth II laying a wreath on the memorial and stepping back to bow has been called 'an extraordinary moment' and 'particularly remarkable'.

Tanaiste and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore (also a Liberties Press author) greeted the Queen on her arrival and will today accompany her on her visit to Croke Park, the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association and also where fourteen people were killed and dozens wounded by British security forces on 21st November 1920. Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has said the visit of Queen Elizabeth II is 'a great success so far' and joins the majority of Irish people who feel this anticipated yet controversial visit is a positive step toward better relations between Ireland and Britain.

On Morning Ireland this morning, Eamon Gilmore said the Queen's visit to Croke Park was her 'making a statement about the past and the history of the relationships between both countries'. He sees it as an important event as it will 'lay to rest' a chapter in Ireland's history. Eamon Gilmore also said that the Queen's visit to Croke Park is about culture and as someone who is interested in sport, she will enjoy learning about Ireland's national games.

The Tanaiste joined William Hague, British Foreign Secretary, in celebrating this 'new chapter' in Irish/British relations as they met to discuss the launch of the British/Irish Chamber of Commerce. Gilmore stated that 'commerce between both countries is thriving'.

Eamon Gilmore is the author of Leading Lights: People Who've Inspired Me.