• Commons first as Conor wishes the Queen a Happy Birthday as Gaeilge

    In what is thought to be a first in the House of Commons, Conor McGinn MP for St Helens North and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Irish in Britain, wished the Queen a Happy Birthday in Irish during a debate to mark the occasion.

    Conor noted the important role the Queen had played in British-Irish relations and commented upon her visit to Ireland before wishing her many happy returns.

    Early in the day Conor phoned his constituent Norah Collins, originally from County Galway, to congratulate her on reaching the same milestone as Her Majesty. Norah attended the Queen’s 80th Birthday lunch in 2006.

    Speaking in Parliament, Conor said:

    “I rise to wish Her Majesty the Queen many happy returns on behalf of my constituents in St Helens North, one of whom, Norah Collins, also celebrates her 90th birthday today.

    “She is originally from County Galway and I thought it was somewhat appropriate that I spoke to her this morning, because of course the Queen has done so much to further good relations between Britain and Ireland.

    “As chair of the all-party parliamentary group on the Irish in Britain, I know that the community here felt special pride at her state visit to Ireland and the reciprocal visit here by the President of Ireland.

    “On behalf of the all-party group and the community here I say, “Breithlá sona duit a Banríon.” Happy birthday to the Queen.”