The question on everybody’s lips in coming days will be “are the top brass of the UDA going to get a chance to shake hands with the Queen on her trip to the Republic of Ireland?” The UDA’s five brigadiers and 4/5 representatives of their respective districts have been extended invitations to a wreath laying ceremony by Queen Elizabeth at Islandbridge in honour of the war dead. President Mary McAleese’s husband Martin has been involved with UDA leaders in community work for several years. South Belfast brigadier Jackie McDonald regularly visits Aras an Uachtarain. Confirming the invitations on Wednesday to the Islandbridge leg of the Queen’s visit Mr McDonald said “this represents progress and is a reward for work being done. Others could learn from this.”. The brigadiers have not been told they will actually meet the Queen given the heightened security situation surrounding the royal visitor. It would be surprising however if Jackie McDonald and his colleagues are not embraced by President McAleese who always appears comfortable in their presence.