- Queen Elizabeth makes first state by UK monarch to Ireland since independence in 1921
- Lawmaker Joe Higgins says Irish government should spend money on jobs instead
- Higgins: We must hold rulers responsible for crimes they preside over, such as invasion of Iraq
Editor’s Note: Lawmaker Joe Higgins is a Member of the Dáil (Irish Parliament), representing the Socialist Party/United Left Alliance
Dublin, Republic of Ireland (CNN) — A few weeks ago I suggested in the Dáil (Irish Parliament) that the queen of England might be politely asked to contribute to the cost of her bed & breakfast during her visit to Ireland this week.
I pointed out that the Irish people needed the financial help since they could soon be — metaphorically speaking — sleeping rough, as the country faced bankruptcy to pay off the debts of German and French banks which had recklessly gambled and lost in the Irish property bubble. The political establishment was not amused at this seeming lack of respect for Her Majesty.
I was only half joking actually. Although our government will not give us a firm estimate, the massive security arrangements surrounding the back-to-back visits of the British queen and the president of the United States of America, are estimated to cost up to €30 million ($42 million). This is the same amount of money which has just been earmarked to provide emergency jobs for 3,000 unemployed people as part of a revamp of school buildings throughout the state.