Tuesday 23 January 2018

Historic meeting between McGuinness and Queen to be filmed

Tom Lawrence

The Queen's historic meeting with Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness will be recorded for posterity, Buckingham Palace confirmed today.

The initial handshake between the Queen and the former IRA commander will remain private but farewells between the two individuals - when another handshake is expected - will be filmed and photographed.

Peter Sheridan, chief executive of the peace charity Co-operation Ireland which will host the meeting at Belfast's Lyric Theatre, said the event will be hugely significant.

Mr McGuinness, Stormont deputy First Minister, has described the upcoming greeting as a symbolic gesture of "stretching out the hand of peace and reconciliation to Queen Elizabeth who represents hundreds of thousands of unionists in the north".

The Queen last year broke down barriers on both sides of the border through her conciliatory words and gestures during her visit to the Republic.

Meanwhile a number of police officers were injured during an attack by a gang of around 100 missile-throwing youths in Belfast.

A total of nine officers sustained minor injuries after trouble flared in the Broadway area of the city last night, the Police Service of Northern Ireland said.

The attack saw around 21 petrol bombs and a variety of other missiles hurled at the authorities. It came during the Queen's two-day Diamond Jubilee visit to the country.

Earlier in the day, one person was injured during another disturbance in the west Belfast area.

Republicans had erected an Irish flag and a sign which said "Eriu is our Queen" on Black Mountain.

A confrontation is believed to have ensued over the sign at around 6pm with one person taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Eriu is a goddess in Irish mythology.

Police said they believed the disorder in Broadway was caused by individuals trying to take advantage of the tensions in the Black Mountain area.

A PSNI spokeswoman said: "Localised disorder in the Broadway area last night was police believe criminal elements trying to take advantage of tensions and events in the Black Mountain area to attack officers.

"Police do not believe this attack was orchestrated."

The Broadway area quickly returned to calm following the trouble, with police praising local community representatives for their help.

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