As my friend and utterly sound fellow Conservative Andre Walker points out, there is something deeply unimpressive in the logic of Irish dissident republicans planting bombs in their own capital city to protest the visit of a foreign monarch on a state visit.
The fact is, these republicans are essentially powerless fascists, desperate to prevent the likely message of peace and reconciliation, regret and even apology the Queen will have for Ireland from being heard by the people of Ireland. They seek to prevent a wider realisation that the British people and government are far more friendly and open to Ireland than many armchair political theorists in the 26 counties currently understand- to some extent more friendly than many Unionists in Northern Ireland find comfortable.
The dissidents know that their only hope is to establish the Queen as the hateful and vicious leader of the oppressing war machine, to link her to the Bloody Sunday Massacre at Croke Park, the appointer of governments opposed to the independence of Ireland and the collaborator with loyalist murder squads.
It will really do damage to the dissidents to have this old, meek, pleasant woman stand, by the invitation of the Government of Ireland, at the Garden of Remembrance and at Croke Park, speaking for the first time directly to the people of Ireland, proud and confident in their Republic, of Britain’s regret and contrition for the policy and events which shaped us and our public understanding of our interrelationships.
The dissidents have the power of high explosive, the ability to make Irish people fear for their lives if they disagree with the dissident narrative. They have the power to kill – the people who destroyed the heart of Omagh, indiscriminately slaughtering republican, unionist, catholic and protestant alike – an that is the only threat they possess.
Today, the head of state of Canada, Australia, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and dozens of other consensual states pays Ireland a visit. Whether the dissidents like it or not, today, the Queen will lay a wreath in remembrance of those who died to extricate Ireland from British rule- not in approval, because that is not in her gift, but in understanding and acknowledgement.