McGuinness claims Pope could visit Ireland by 2012
The Pope could visit Ireland by 2012, Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness said today.
The North's deputy First Minister said he had "some grounds" for making the prediction when quizzed about Pope Benedict's state visit to Britain.
The senior republican made the claim while giving evidence to a committee at the Stormont Assembly where he was challenged over his failure to take part in the Scottish leg of the Pontiff's recent trip.
Mr McGuinness said the trip was a British state visit and said he would instead be pleased to meet the Pope when he visited Ireland.
The deputy First Minister added: "I also have some grounds for believing that could happen as soon as 2012."