What the Scots-Irish thought: 'Many see her as just a little old lady'

If there is animosity towards the Queen being in the Republic, it seems not have found much of a voice among the residents of Dublin. Perhaps there are old-time revolutionaries whispering here and there, or young bloods making diagrams of explosives.

But the general feeling I get is that the Irish regard her as just another foreign dignitary, albeit the first monarch to have visited the Republic in 100 years. A legacy of feudal ownership is glossed over by the fact she's just a little old lady

But then nobody with outrage in his or her heart is close enough to ask her awkward questions about the potato famine or the civil war. As a Scot in exile in this Republic, I find myself wondering about our own independence - will we get Balmoral back, complete with shooting-rights?

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• Campbell Armstrong is a Scottish author who now lives in Ireland.

'Sectarian prejudice is shrunk to size'

Despite the understandable restrictions on public access, most people in Ireland or with Irish connections experience the visit as reconciling. There is a recognition of the modern state of Ireland, and an acceptance of the sacrifice that created it as part of a shared story.

Hence the power of the wreath-laying moment, which inevitably raises the hackles of those who are still trapped in the conflict narrative. But there is more. The respect agenda releases us all to acknowledge our interdependence. Ireland is part of our British, and our Scottish stories.

There is something important for Scots in this visit as well, particularly those of us who have personal ties. Sectarian prejudice is shrunk to size and exposed as disconnected from either politics or religion.

• Dr Donald Smith – storyteller, playwright, novelist and performance poet, born in Scotland to Irish parents.

'Ireland greeting a rediscovered friend'

Queen Elizabeth's visit to Ireland is one of the strangest and closest of meetings.

On the one hand, from her birth in 1926 that part of the British Isles was devolving rapidly after civil war, and by her coronation in 1953 the 26 counties were a Republic, outside the Commonwealth.

On the other hand, she has been a magnet near at hand in some ways meaning more to all the Irish than any other foreigner including the Pope. In personal terms, she descends from few of the bogeys of Irish history: Henry VIII and Elizabeth I were not her ancestors. Ireland is greeting a rediscovered friend.

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• Owen Dudley Edwards, Irish-born historian who lives in Scotland.

'An apology would be good start'

I grew up in a family where the past was very much the present, where names like Wolfe Tone and Michael Davitt were as familiar to me as those of my schoolmates, where the hostility to British imperialism was equalled only by the hostility towards the Free State and partition.

Yet I regard Elizabeth Windsor's visit to Ireland as a PR exercise to which I am pretty much indifferent.

The bile rose as God Save the Queen played in the Garden of Remembrance. But then, I feel that when it's played in Edinburgh. A new stage in Anglo-Irish relations? I might be persuaded of that if she makes some statement of formal acknowledgement and apology for the 900 years of carnage and misery, famine and pillage her predecessors visited upon my ancestors. That would allow both oppressor and oppressed to begin to escape being trapped in the past.

• Dick Gaughan, folk musician and second-generation Irish-Scot.