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Thursday 8 December 2016

Miriam and Martin shake on it as peace breaks out

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Editor

Published 18/10/2011 | 05:00

Presidential candidate Martin McGuinness and RTE 'Prime Time' presenter Miriam O'Callaghan greet each other at
the Inclusion Ireland Presidential Forum yesterday at the Mansion House in Dublin. Photo: Mark Condren
Presidential candidate Martin McGuinness and RTE 'Prime Time' presenter Miriam O'Callaghan greet each other at the Inclusion Ireland Presidential Forum yesterday at the Mansion House in Dublin. Photo: Mark Condren
Presidential candidates Sean Gallagher, left, and Michael D Higgins during yesterday's Inclusion Ireland Debate at the Mansion House in Dublin
Dana Rosemary Scallon pictured meeting local Elvis impersonator Myles Kavanagh while out canvassing in Kilkenny yesterday

THE last time they met emotions ran high. But RTE presenter Miriam O'Callaghan and presidential candidate Martin McGuinness had a "friendly conversation" when they came face to face again yesterday .

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Perhaps Colm Meaney -- a prominent McGuinness supporter -- put in a good word when O'Callaghan interviewed him on radio over the weekend?

Either way, having helped to broker the Good Friday Agreement, the Sinn Fein figure proved yesterday morning he still has his peacemaking skills, immediately offering the 'Prime Time' host the hand of friendship when they met at the Mansion House in Dublin.

"Martin and I had a very friendly conversation. I like and respect all the seven candidates and it was good to meet all the nominees again," the presenter told the Irish Independent.

Mr McGuinness concurred: "It was indeed a friendly conversation with Miriam," he said.

The meeting, which took place ahead of a presidential forum on disability organised by Inclusion Ireland, was their first since the candidate and the moderator had a heated exchange following RTE's 'Prime Time' presidential debate.

Mr McGuinness asked for a one-on-one with her in the RTE studios last Wednesday night to discuss her line of questioning. "That was a private meeting between two people so my lips are sealed," O'Callaghan explained.

RTE sources described the current affairs host as being left "shaken" by the encounter.

The Sinn Fein candidate confronted her over certain exchanges in the debate. At one stage O'Callaghan had asked him how he could reconcile his religious beliefs with "being involved in the murder of so many people" as a member of the IRA.

But the former deputy first minister of Northern Ireland said he was looking forward to meeting O'Callaghan again yesterday, saying he "got on with everybody".

Irish Independent

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