• The first handshake last week between Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness and Queen Elizabeth II was an important moment, as it could not have happened 14 years ago. Feelings were still raw after the end of 30 years of conflict.
Some here in the Republic have asked what is the big deal and at times sound flippant about it. These people do not take into account that people from all sides lost their lives, including Louis Mountbatten, the queen and Prince Phillip's relative, who was killed along with others when his boat was bombed in 1979.
Mountbatten's daughter, who survived with serious injuries and is now 88, said the handshake was a wonderful moment.