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Dublin: 10 °C Sunday 20 April, 2014

Gallery: President McAleese hosts Dublin Castle dinner in honour of royal visit

Guests attending last night’s function included Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney and former politician Iris Robinson, as well as political leaders Enda Kenny and David Cameron.

President McAleese and Dr McAleese welcome Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh to Dublin Castle.
President McAleese and Dr McAleese welcome Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh to Dublin Castle.
Image: Maxwells/PA Wire

PRESIDENT MARY MCALEESE hosted a special state dinner in honour of the visit of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and Duke of Edinburgh at Dublin Castle last night.

Addressing the guests, which included Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, Irish rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll and Taoiseach Enda Kenny, McAleese said it was a pleasure to welcome the Queen to Dublin Castle in what “is a clumination of the success of the peace process”.

“It is an acknowledgement that while we cannot change the past, we have chosen to change the future,” the president added.

The Queen opened her speech with a line as Gaeilge before speaking about the historical importance of such a state visit. The visit “reminds us of the complexity of our history, its many layers and traditions, but also the importance of forbearance and conciliation,” she said. “Of being able to bow to the past, but not to be bound by it.”

Last night marked the first public appearance of Iris Robinson, wife of Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson, since the scandal about her affair with a 19-year-old broke last year. Robinson resigned from her positions as MP, MLA and councillor in the wake of the scandal. She and her husband attended the Dublin Castle event together.

Photos: The guests at Dublin Castle for last night’s state reception:

Gallery: President McAleese hosts Dublin Castle dinner in honour of royal visit
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    Guests attending the reception with President Mary McAleese and Britain's Queen Elizabeth at Dublin Castle. (Mark Cuthbert/PA Images)
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    President McAleese walks through Dublin Castle with Queen Elizabeth, the Duke of Edinburgh and Dr McAleese. (Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/PA)
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    Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaks to British Prime Minister David Cameron at Dublin Castle. (Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/PA)
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    Rugby star Brian O'Driscoll with his wife actress and novelist Amy Huberman at the Dublin Castle event. (Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/PA)
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    President Mary McAleese and husband Dr Martin McAleese wait for Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Duke of Edinburgh to arrive. (Maxwells/PA)
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    Iris Robinson with Bertie Ahern (left) and husband Peter Robinson (right) at the dinner in honour of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Dublin Castle. (John Stillwell/PA)
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    Former President and UN human rights commissioner Mary Robinson and her husband Dr Nick Robinson arrive at Dublin Castle for the special event. (Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/PA)
  • Royal Visit

    President Mary McAleese and Queen Elizabeth II arrive for the state dinner at Dublin Castle. (Maxwells/PA Wire) PIC: MAXWELLS DUBLIN - IRISH GOVERNMENT POOL PICTURE
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    British Prime Minister David Cameron greets Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his wife Fionnuala at Dublin Castle ahead of the state dinner. (Julien Behal/PA)
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    Irish rugby captain Brian O'Driscoll , meets Britain's Queen Elizabeth II with Irish President Mary McAleese at Dublin Castle. (Maxwells/PA Wire)
  • Royal Visit

    Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Duke of Edinburgh with President Mary McAleese and Dr Martin McAleese arrive at Dublin Castle for a state dinner at the end the second day of her visit to Ireland. (Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/PA)
  • Royal Visit

    President McAleese walks through Dublin Castle with Queen Elizabeth, the Duke of Edinburgh and Dr McAleese. (Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/PA)

Gallery: The second day of the Queen’s historic visit to Ireland >

Listen: Simple pleasures – Queen to President: “I like this clinking glass” >

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