Brent’s Irish community welcome Queen’s visit to Ireland

Collum Moloney says it is an important part of the peace process

The Queen’s historic visit to Ireland is an important step in the peace process, the chair of the Brent Irish Advisory Service (BIAS) has said.

Speaking after the Queen landed in Dublin this morning, Colum Moloney, said: “It is a major step for Ireland that the Queen should visit. It is another move in the peace process and extending the hand of friendship and forgiveness.

“It is a great achievement for the whole of Ireland and an important addition to the turning point of the Good Friday Agreement.”

His remarks come as an unprecedented security operation was getting under way after it emerged that the Irish army was forced to deactivate an explosive device found on a bus near Dublin ahead of the royal visit.

But despite the scare Mr Moloney, who is also Labour councillor for Stonebridge, said he was confident the visit would be peaceful, and condemned dissident Irish republican groups who advocate violence.

He said: “Any act of violence is horrific and it doesn’t solve anything, it just creates animosity between the different communities. Thankfully now we have one community in Ireland.

Most Read

“The road to violence was never the way of achieving anything.

“We have got to remember that a lot of people have died, and it is time that people realised that the sensible way to make their voices heard is to join political parties and put forward their arguments in a democratic way.

Brent has got the largest Irish population in Britain. The BIAS is a charity which has been giving support and advice to the borough’s Irish community since 1978.

The four day royal tour, the first by a UK monarch to the Irish Republic, is due to come to an end on Friday.