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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Sinn Fein considers meeting queen during jubilee tour

Sarah Stack

Sarah Stack

SINN Fein's Martin McGuinness yesterday said the party leadership would consider meeting Queen Elizabeth during her jubilee tour of Northern Ireland later this month.

But he again stressed it would be a huge ask for any republican.

The North's Deputy First Minister said a decision on meeting the British queen would be made by Sinn Fein members and would be based on whether such a meeting would enhance or damage the peace process.

"My position is that if there is a serious proposition then it would be considered by the Sinn Fein leadership," said Mr McGuinness.

The Deputy First Minister was in Dublin attending the North South Ministerial Council with First Minister Peter Robinson, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore and ministers from both sides of the Border.

Mr Kenny refused to be drawn in to the debate, stating it was not an issue another political party should interfere with.

But he paid tribute to the monarch and the symbolic gesture she made at the Garden of Remembrance, where she bowed in honour those who died for Irish freedom.

Mr McGuinness yesterday insisted that he has tremendous respect for the wishes of the unionist population of the north to be part of the jubilee celebrations, which includes a party at Stormont on June 27.

"From my perspective I will, as always, approach these matters in a very sensible way," Mr McGuinness said.

Irish Independent

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