Royal gun salute in Co Down to mourn passing of queen

Much of the focus of activities is in the village of Hillsborough
Royal gun salute in Co Down to mourn passing of queen

By Jonathan McCambridge, PA

A royal gun salute is set to sound as people in Northern Ireland continue to pay tribute following the passing of Britain's Queen Elizabeth.

With Britain entering a period of official mourning, much of the focus in the North will be on the small village of Hillsborough in Co Down, which will be the centre of ceremonial activities.

At Hillsborough Castle a royal gun salute will sound at lunchtime, with 96 rounds fired, one to mark every year of the queen’s life.

A major security operation is under way in the village, with traffic restricted ahead of what is expected to be many visitors paying tribute over the coming days.

Royal Hillsborough last year became the first place in Ireland to be granted royal status.

Queen Elizabeth II death
Floral tributes are laid at the gates of Hillsborough Castle in Co Down. Photo: Jonathan McCambridge/PA

Already many floral tributes have been left at the gates of the castle, with people travelling from across Ireland to pay their respects.

Away from the Co Down village, people were gathering at a mural of the queen on the Shankill Road in Belfast on Friday morning to leave floral tributes.

Church bells are expected to ring out at a number of locations and books of condolence will be opened in Belfast, Derry and at other locations.

Lord Mayor of Belfast Christina Black said: “Queen Elizabeth made a valuable contribution to building peace and strengthening reconciliation between people on these islands.

“As a mark of respect, I will open books of condolence at City Hall for the people of the city to sign and extend sympathies to her family at this sad time.”

Stormont speaker Alex Maskey has said he is liaising with officials to ensure the Stormont Assembly is able to pay tribute.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more