Crowds cheer as Queen visits market

Friday 20 May 2011 17:28 BST

The Queen was loudly cheered by hundreds of schoolchildren today as she arrived in Cork city on the final part of her momentous trip to Ireland.

As she walked the short distance from her motorcade to the English Market, she stopped and turned to the crowds who lined streets.

The very public welcome in the heart of the "Rebel County" was the first time the Queen has been so close to well-wishers on this trip.

Traders and staff inside the renowned market also applauded as the Queen inspected butchers' counters packed with meat, as well as fish and other stalls run by grocers.

Fishmonger Pat O'Connell shared several minutes with the Queen, displaying some of his finest fish, including Dublin Bay prawns.

After touring the market the Queen made her first walkabout, crossing the street to shake hands with spectators.

Despite the excited but relaxed atmosphere, there was a huge police presence throughout Cork city. Security chiefs had been especially nervous about this part of the trip, the final engagement.

The Queen walked about 150 yards in what appeared to be a spur of the moment decision to greet cheering crowds.

The vast majority of those waiting to welcome her were youngsters out of school although one young woman attempted to one step further waving a Union Jack mug as the Queen left for her final engagement.

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