Fri, 30 Sep 2022

LONDON, England: President Michael D. Higgins and Taoiseach Micheal Martin are representing Ireland at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

Prior to the funeral, Higgins and Martin paid their respects to Queen Elizabeth in Westminster Hall on September 18.

They also attended a reception for world leaders at Buckingham Palace, hosted by King Charles III.

Irish observers noted that Martin's attendance at Westminster Hall was an expression of gratitude, following the Queen's hosting Martin during the first-ever Irish State visit to the United Kingdom in 2014.

Martin's visit to the UK came three years after the Queen's historic visit to Ireland in 2011.
Queen Elizabeth will be laid to rest in St George's Chapel, alongside her husband, Prince Philip.

While in London for the funeral, Martin will also meet with new British Prime Minister Liz Truss at 10 Downing Street.

Their meeting is scheduled for 45 minutes, and it is anticipated that they will discuss the Northern Ireland protocol issue.

The meeting is being described as private.

Also on September 18, Martin signed a Book of Condolence at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office headquarters in Lancaster House (pictured). President Higgins did the same.

Of note, Martin and Higgins, the Irish Heads of State and Government, have been assigned prestigious seating in Westminster Abbey during the funeral.

Observers also noted that it is unusual for the President and the Taoiseach to be outside Ireland at the same time.

But the close relationship between Britain and Ireland demanded a full attendance for the first time in the history of Ireland.

While Martin has no scheduled meeting with world leaders while in London, in fact he might have a brief discussion with U.S. President Joe Biden.

Accompanying the Irish leaders are Sabina Higgins and Mary O'Shea, wife of Martin.

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