Queen to shake hands with ex-IRA man McGuinness

Queen Elizabeth II is poised to make a historic gesture in Northern Ireland's peace process on Wednesday when she shakes the hand of former IRA commander Martin McGuinness.

The meeting with McGuinness, now the province's deputy first minister, comes on the second day of the queen's visit to the province, which on Tuesday took her to Enniskillen, the scene of a 1987 IRA bombing which killed 11 people.

It follows a night of violent clashes in Belfast where gangs of youths hurled petrol bombs, injuring nine police officers.

The symbolic handshake will take place at a cross-border charity event in Belfast, where the queen and her husband Prince Philip will also meet the Republic of Ireland's head of state, President Michael D. Higgins, and Northern Ireland's First Minister, Peter Robinson.

The meeting with McGuinness is seen as an important milestone in Anglo-Irish relations after three decades of sectarian violence, known as "The Troubles", which largely ended with the Good Friday agreement in 1998.

McGuinness was a commander in the Irish Republican Army when the paramilitary group killed Prince Philip's uncle Louis Mountbatten in 1979 by bombing his boat while he was on holiday in the Republic of Ireland.

His Sinn Fein party, the political wing of the now-defunct IRA, continues to reject British rule in Northern Ireland.

In the eyes of republicans, the queen is commander-in-chief of an army that killed 13 people during a civil rights march in 1972, an event known as Bloody Sunday.

Earlier this week McGuinness said that by shaking the queen's hands he would be "shaking the hands of hundreds of thousands of unionists".

"I think that is a good thing. I think that is something that is very important to do, particularly in showing unionists that a spirit of generosity on all sides can pay huge dividends for all of us," he said.

Signs of the former tensions resurfaced overnight when around 100 missile-throwing youths clashed with police in Belfast. Police said more than 20 petrol bombs were thrown in the Broadway area of the city.

Earlier there was unrest in the west of Belfast after Republicans erected a flag and sign saying "Eriu is our queen", referring to a goddess of Irish mythology.

The queen and Prince Philip had received a warm welcome, however, when they arrived by helicopter in Enniskillen, where flag-waving crowds of supporters lined the streets to greet them.

During the day they attended a service of thanksgiving at the city's St Maccartin's Church of Ireland Cathedral, along with Protestant and Catholic clergy.

Afterwards, in a potent gesture of conciliation, they stepped across the road to St Michael's Catholic Church. It is believed to be the queen's first visit to a Catholic church in Northern Ireland.

The two-day trip is part of the queen's diamond jubilee celebrations, marking her 60th year on the throne and is her 20th visit to the province.

On Wednesday the 86-year-old monarch and her husband will also join 22,000 guests for a garden party in the grounds of Stormont, Northern Ireland's parliament buildings.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Billionaire finds wreck of WWII ship in Phl
    Billionaire finds wreck of WWII ship in Phl

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says he has found the Japanese Navy’s biggest warship at the bottom of the sea in the Philippines, 70 years after US forces sank it. Allen posted a photo on Twitter on Tuesday of the World War II battleship Musashi’s rusty bow, which bore the Japanese empire’s Chrysanthemum seal. The American billionaire, who has also pursued space exploration, said his luxury yacht and exploration ship, the M/Y Octopus, found the Musashi one kilometer (1.6 miles) deep on the …

  • 8 of 10 cities most at risk from natural disasters located in Phl – study
    8 of 10 cities most at risk from natural disasters located in Phl – study

    Eight of 10 world cities most exposed to natural hazards are in the Philippines and more than half of the 100 cities most exposed to earthquakes, storms and other disasters are in four Asian nations, according to a research. The study, published on Wednesday by risk analysis firm Verisk Maplecroft, analyzed the threat posed by storms, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, volcanoes and landslides in more than 1,300 cities. The study found that the 10 cities most at risk are Port Vila in …

  • Miriam bucks house arrest for Enrile
    Miriam bucks house arrest for Enrile

    Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago believes granting Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile house arrest, while former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo remains under hospital detention, will violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution. “That’s already a violation of the equal protection of the law,” she said. …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

  • UNA hits PNP selection process
    UNA hits PNP selection process

    The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) hit yesterday the apparent machinations in the selection of the new Philippine National Police (PNP) chief. Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, UNA interim president, said the administration and the ruling Liberal Party (LP) are perpetuating the bata-bata or patronage system in the selection process of the police chief. “They will start this by maneuvering the appointment of Gen. Garbo as PNP chief,” said Tiangco, referring to one of the top contenders for PNP …

  • Pacquiao: Mayweather is the fight of my life
    Pacquiao: Mayweather is the fight of my life

    Manny Pacquiao called his boxing showdown with Floyd Mayweather “the fight of my life” as he got down to work pounding the streets and gym in Los Angeles. On Monday, Pacquiao ran two miles (3.2 km) and shadow-boxed for two rounds, followed by abdominal work and breakfast of steamed rice, scrambled egg, fish and chicken broth. Then he napped until noon and had lunch before heading to trainer Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym, which is strictly off-limits to fans and media during Pacquiao’s …

  • Ohio mom, boyfriend guilty; child emailed teacher for help

    PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (AP) — A woman and her boyfriend pleaded guilty to raping her young children and were sentenced to prison on Wednesday, a year after one of her daughters emailed a teacher for help and said she and her siblings were being chained to their beds, deprived of food and sexually assaulted. …

  • New Moro rebel group emerges
    New Moro rebel group emerges

    A radical Muslim cleric trained in the Middle East and considered one of the leaders of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) has broken away from the terror group to form his own band of jihadists who are now reportedly providing sanctuary to bomb expert Basit Usman and at least five foreign militants, the military said yesterday. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla, citing reports from the field, said the Justice for Islamic Movement (JIM) was …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options