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Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to UCC and a statue that says it all!

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh visiting Tyndall National Institute where they were given a Nanoelectronics demonstration by Prof. Brendan O' Neill

From 1849, UCC, once called Queens College Cork, was home to a statue of Queen Victoria on its main campus handcrafted of limestone by a Cork sculptor. Years later, in 1934, the political climate changed as did the university and its sentiments towards the Queen’s statue. However, it was nicely put to rest underground in the classiest part of the University, the President’s garden. In 1995, the statue was resurrected for the 150th anniversary of the Queens College fund. Fast forward to 2011 and a visit to UCC by the Queen Victoria’s grand-daughter Queen Elizabeth II. As part of her visit, the Queen was shown the statue by John A Murphy, University Historian and Emeritus Professor of History who summed up how the unique artefact has come full circle to symbolize the warming of Irish-British relations with his welcoming words to the Queen:  

 “The erection of the statue in 1849, its deposition in 1934, and its rehabilitation in 1995 – these successive events mirror the changing state of the British-Irish relationship over that long period: first, British dominance, then nationalist triumphalism, and finally reconciliation. Today, the Victoria statue represents the mutual respect of friendly neighbours on an equal footing. This symbolism is happily rounded off by your visit today. Thank you for coming here.”

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