The second day of the Queen's visit to Ireland slightly mirrored the first with more poignant moments for history to record, sprinkled among cavalcade journies on near empty streets and a few gaf's from Philly, the highlight being when he asked if Guinness was made from Liffey water. It was not the best one he has delivered over the years.
The Queen fulfilled more duties from a lifetime of duty, and one has to admire a woman to some degree for having being married to Philly for as long as they have been married. Though that duty comes with sickening privileged when weighed against the state of the planet, it is a lifetime of duty none the less, which if one is to be honest, is a form of imprisonment in itself. She honors that sense of duty in a way that will be less and less apparent as history passes by.
There was more acknowledgment at Islandbridge for the past. Among a gathering that included Peter Robinson and his wayward wife, there was also representatives from both sections of the Northern divide and that was powerful to see. Then there was a visit to Croke Park, something I certainly thought I would never see.
Though the Queen did refuse a tipple of the black stuff, the end to a tough day happened at a State banquet for the Importee's where The President - a noted advocate for healing across the divide - and The Queen both delivered admirable, if not, breathtaking speeches.
David Cameron was in presence, as was the Taoiseach.
Those two former taoisaoigh managed to slip past security again to feed from the crumbs. The only disagreement I have was with the President, who said Ireland was equal for all. Nothing, with all due respect, could be further from the truth, but that's another issue for another day.
One gets the sense Ireland has entered a new day. Bigger battles need fighting, those at the root cause of where we see ourselves today. Ireland's forefather's did not die for greed. They died for equality, for all on the island. That is where Ireland needs to get to. That's how Ireland will recover. There simply is no other way. If those of such importance do not recognize that economics alone is not enough to create a fair and decent society, then we are all doomed. No point thinking any other way.
There seems to be a bit of goodwill around the place over the past few days. Sure some will never agree, but opinion should be respected. The sad thing about this visit thus far has been the notable absence of Sinn Féin. For me, they are a party for the future.
Perhaps they are not at that stage just yet, but if they have ambitions to govern this land one day, then they need to appeal to a wider demographic. If they are serious about the changes they wish to implement then the only way to get there is by being in power. Not propping up Fianna Fail at some stage, but getting there. The only way that can happen is if they perhaps let their guard down a little now and let more modern values guide that ambition. They talk the talk, but they must also walk the walk. If they wanted that chance to pprove to the nation that power does not corrupt in the absolute and doom the Failers to a whisper from the past, a proportional thawing will do their cause no harm at all. I laugh when I hear of Fianna Fail chastising them for the sins of the past. Well, they never sold the country so they could prop up a few.
The trip winds down over the coming days with a whistle-stop tour of the country over the coming days. The Capital can be proud. Tomorrow the Queen makes a visit to the National Stud - No, not you Brian - where the important people will fall over themselves to catch a glimpse of the horse owner and lover.
Perhaps as they look on they might reflect on their own duty to this island and who knows, we might get to turn things around again. With the news tonight that the 'fair deal' budget has run out and the state can no longer afford to provide care for any more elderly people unless the sands of time run out for a few of them, well, there may not be a better time to be making brave new fresh starts. We'd all feel more included then, perhaps.