The Taoiseach said King Charles was “always welcome” in Ireland but declined to confirm whether he would be traveling to London for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.
r Martin said King Charles was “very familiar with Ireland” and had a “keen interest” in Irish affairs, having met him and his wife Queen Consort Camilla on a number of previous visits to Ireland.
Asked if he would invite him to visit Ireland, Mr Martin said issuing the invitation was a “Presidential matter”.
“He’s always welcome in Ireland,” he said.
“I have no doubt that he will continue this interest in Ireland, particularly his interest in climate change, diversity and wildlife, and I foresee opportunities to develop that interest, if you will, in relation to some of the initiatives he has, in terms of biodiversity conservation, we will take it with us into the future.
He said King Charles will continue to underpin “peace and good relations” between Ireland and the UK.
However, Mr Martin declined to confirm whether he would be traveling to London for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.
“The burial arrangements will be a matter for the UK authorities. Suffice it to say that as a government we would be quite clear about our expressions of sympathy towards the British people.”
Mr Martin spoke as Dublin Mayor Caroline Conroy opened one Online condolence book for the late British monarch.
All condolences will be printed and forwarded to the British Royal Family in a book of condolences.
“On behalf of the people of Dublin, I would like to offer my condolences to the British Royal Family and the British people on the passing of Queen Elizabeth, to whom she has rendered such faithful service for many decades. Her dedication to duty and public service was undeniable and her knowledge, understanding and experience truly second to none. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam,” said the Lord Mayor.
The Taoiseach said Elizabeth’s “most enduring legacy” will be her visit to Ireland in 2011, when she gave a speech and spoke Irish at Dublin Castle.
“It’s a visit that will never be forgotten and I think it definitely closed one chapter and opened another in the context of everything that has happened between Britain and Ireland over the centuries,” said Mr Martin.
“The coming of the UK Head of State to Ireland represented the culmination of, if you will, all that had happened in terms of peace-building and the building of a new political order.”
He said she ruled for 70 years through an “extraordinary sweep of history” that showed “the importance of fundamentals of service, duty and consistency of approach.”
“In the context of the British people we sympathize with them, we understand the tremendous change this represents in terms of her death and the impact it has had on her life over such a long, long period,” he said.
Mr Martin spoke at the opening of 31 council houses in Bray, Co. Wicklow.
In 2014, President Michael D. Higgins made an official state visit to the UK. Today the President said the “extraordinary part” of the Queen’s reign is the way she combines “her sense of formality and duty with a great ability to connect with the people”.
“The speeches we exchanged at the formal dinner; She endeavored to highlight the contributions that the Irish people had made to the building of Britain. The hundreds and thousands of families who worked in health care and road construction,” he said.
“She made this extraordinary statement that if things were done again they would be done differently or maybe not at all and I found not only a great deal of warmth during those four days but also an extraordinary appreciation that Ireland and Britain had a new place,” he told Radio RTÉ.
He added: “I think of her as someone who has accomplished so much, yes, on duty, but is able to do it while maintaining so many human relationships that have been important to people at all levels … and the affection she will be held was indeed well deserved.
“These visits were so important. There is no doubt that they mark a very significant turning point and something full of perspective and opportunity.”
Former President Mary Robinson said the Queen was a “very remarkable woman” who had a “strong sense of integrity and intent to serve her people”.
“She was relevant to all ages and she had a great ability to calm people down,” she said.
Ms Robinson and her husband met the Queen during a state visit in 1993 and said they were greeted with “big smiles”.
She added: “I was very proud to meet her in that capacity as President of Ireland at the time, but she really put our minds at ease.
“I told her I hoped she could visit me [Ireland] and her face lit up and she said, ‘Oh yeah, I’d really like that’… The Good Friday Agreement was only in 1998, and it wasn’t appropriate at the time, so it lasted until 2011.
“I remember there were apprehensions at the start of her state visit in 2011. There had been a false alarm about a possible explosion on a train or something. A lot of us were very concerned and it was her personal knowledge of what to do, bowing her head just right in the garden of memory, that was the moment that made everything easier and from then on she was welcome.”
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the Queen’s life could be summed up in the word “duty”.
“It’s the end of an era, the end of an extraordinary life and she is someone who has touched millions of people across generations and I think for us she touched us when she made the historic visit to Ireland in 2011, deeply in symbolism… I remember you well, remember the impact it had and I think it was really a high point in British-Irish relations and she made that happen,” he said.
“If I had to sum up her life in one word, I think it would be a very short word, duty. Someone who came from a generation that truly believed in their duty to their country and family. Someone who, after 70 years of rule, worked extraordinarily well into her last days to receive her new Prime Minister, and I saw it the other day, Winston Churchill, her first Prime Minister. Winston Churchill and Liz Truss were born 101 years apart, so it really spans the story in so many ways.”
Meanwhile, Minister Eamon Ryan said the Queen showed “great grace” during her state visit in 2011.
He added: “I think one of the moments that seems to be the most important and significant in her reign were the moments in our Garden of Remembrance when she took a bow and at Dublin Castle when she spoke in Irish, and I think the people of this country hold her in great affection and respect because of the enormously important, historic contribution she has made to Anglo-Irish relations and the way she has done so with great grace.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/taoiseach-says-britains-king-charles-always-welcome-in-ireland-as-dublin-mayor-opens-online-book-of-condolence-41975981.html Taoiseach says Britain’s King Charles is ‘always welcome’ in Ireland as Dublin mayor opens online book of condolences