We'll all watch that wedding ...so why oppose royal visit?
SURPRISE surprise! This brand new dissident republican group in Northern Ireland thinks that the peace process has failed. How noble of them to take it upon themselves to take the life of an innocent man for the good of all of us.
The brutal murder of PSNI constable Ronan Kerr in Omagh was a sad reflection of the fact that certain groups will only ever be able to express their views through violence and destruction.
It is both tragic and enraging that in 2011 this terrorism is still occurring despite the wishes of the vast majority of citizens both north and south of the border for peace to prevail.
And it only took three weeks for someone to claim responsibility and to show smug, sickening pride in their actions.
While one can never forget the struggles Ireland has fought in the past, if ever there were a time to look to the future it is now.
The last thing we need is to become known as a 'poor me' nation.
Without help from anyone we are doing a pretty good job of messing up our own country and I'm sure many of the hundreds of thousands of unemployed people who are struggling to make ends meet might not be hitting a 10 on the national pride scale right about now.
It's always easy to pass the burden of blame but this week's Nyberg Report, though badly received, downplayed previous arguments of the role of external factors in our country's financial demise and said that the blame lies within Ireland itself.
Well, anyone could have come to that conclusion but the point is that our identity has taken a bashing along with our pockets.
Now I'm all for freedom of speech, but as a country we send such mixed messages out to the rest of the world.
Take for instance the impending Queen's visit. There was uproar over the proposed cost of millions to the exchequer but not a muttering about the cost of the Obama visit, the two just weeks apart.
OK, so the USA didn't occupy Ireland, but why should 'we' be opposed to the royal visit? We could reap untold rewards in international terms and if flawlessly executed it would show us a strong and proud nation right up there on our figurative high horse.
And if people aren't bothered about the visit then why are they chomping at the bit to get a gawk at the royal wedding?
Can they be so easily distracted by the fact that Prince William is marrying a 'commoner' and that Brian O'Driscoll got an invitation? Surely not, but we better Sky+ in case there won't be a television at work!
And then there are the millions of euro that Irish soccer fans pump into the UK purse every year with their diehard loyalty to their chosen teams while they scoff at domestic soccer – but that's a whole other column.