According to Cowen there was now no obstacle in the way of Queen Elizabeth coming to Ireland. He also said that he wanted to see that happen before 26-county President Mary McAleese leaves office. McAleeses' term of office ends in November of next year.
Media reports have also suggested that she will visit Classiebawn Castle in Mullaghmore, Co.Sligo, which was the home of her cousin Louis Mountbatten before he was killed by the IRA in 1979.
Reacting to these comments éirígí Sligeach activist Gerry Casey said that any state visit to Sligo or any other part of Ireland by the commander in chief of Britain’s armed forces Elizabeth Windsor will be vigorously opposed.
Casey said: “Contrary to Cowen's suggestion that are 'no obstacles' in the way of a visit by Windsor, there are in fact 5000 'obstacles'. Thats the number of British troops that remain in our country. Their record here is one of repression, torture and murder. The British army still occupy the six-counties, and alongside the PSNI and MI5, continue to engage in repression against those opposed to the continuing occupation.”
He added: “This suggestion by Cowen to invite the Commander in Chief of the British armed forces on an official state visit to this country is truly appalling. It is a deliberate insult to the families of the victims of the British army here in Ireland and indeed the victims of their continued brutal occupation of Afghanistan.”
“The bottom line is that any attempt to bring this apologist for state terrorism to our country will be vigorously opposed. It has been suggested in the media that Windsor may visit Classiebawn Castle in Mullaghmore Co Sligo during such a visit. If they attempt to arrange any such visit éirígí will organise and ensure stiff opposition and demonstrations against it. She is the head of a foreign occupying army and as such is not welcome here.”
Casey concluded: “Just like Britains Armed Forces Day tomorrow (June 26), such a visit is another attempt by Britain and the political establishment in the 26-counties to legitimise the British occupation and to 'normalise' the partition of our country. But éirígí has no intention of allowing that to happen under any circumstances. Until there is a complete withdrawal by Britain from Ireland there cannot and will not be any 'normalisation' of British-Irish relations.”