To shake or not to shake: Marty dares

After much speculation Gerry Adams announced last Friday 22 June (the day after World Hand Shake Day) that Sinn Fein had decided to give the green light to the deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, to meet the Queen, provoking much excitement and debate amongst journalists, politicos, unionists and nationalists and prompting in particular some real cutting sentiment from the republican old guard.

Here’s my cartoon capturing the events, your comments are to be welcomed!

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  • Mister_Joe

    Whether ’tis Nobler in the body to suffer
    The bombs and bullets of the British Army
    Or to take Arms against their Queen,
    Or shake her hand. Ay, there’s the rub,

  • cynosure

    Very good. I wonder what the implications of the handshake will be? MM’s idea that it will be like ‘shaking the hand of every unionist’ was a striking image. It evokes Ken Maginnis’s refusal to shake his hand on a point of principle and where we’ve got to. I wonder too if Ken would shake his hand now. But if you accept Martin’s version, he’s not getting that choice.

  • lamhdearg2

    I am livid, the Queen has come over to Ulster for the jubilee. Marty should be a tiny sideline, but the press is making out the handshake as the main event, for me and I dare say many like me, it/he is not the main event.

  • Mister_Joe


    Events, dear boy..

  • Pete Baker
  • sdelaneys

    Wonder will his hand fall off afterwards and will he talk about ‘Londonderry’ more often than he does and how will he hold his wee finger when drinking tea and will the queen pish herself laughing at the wee jackanape who is bursting to meet her while pretending it’s an awful chore. A lot of questions to be answered, Jenny Bond might know.

  • Just remember Marty, keep those fingers behind crossed, otherwise we’ll lose our credibility.

  • cynosure

    Such mean spirited attitudes. I think you should see this for what it is: a momentous event. If it is photographed it will eclipse so many images that have come to represent short hand for the peace process. I expect to see it as the culmination of many TV news/historical montages for decades to come.

    I think it is a political masterstroke of SF, though most would agree that they maybe should have done it when she visited Ireland. I think it’s also important to underscore the contribution/bravery of the Queen. Though some hard line asses try to spin it as the government telling her how to act, I am sure this is something she could only do willingly despite any personal reservations she may have. I must say that I admire her greatly for that.

    Though the press has done it’s best to remind us of her own loss, and this seemed to be a little over reported, I think it gives her the power to overcome the hard liner’s recalcitrant stubbornness. “I’ve suffered too” it says, “but now we must shake hands and move on”. In this way, by her own loss, she really does represent the unionist community. And like it or not, she will shake MM’s hand.

  • OneNI

    Despite all the hot air expended by commentators over the handsake none of them actually trump Marty McGuinness:
    ‘”give unionists a glimpse of what a re-united Ireland would look like”.

    Is this the first positioning of a shift towards a SF policy?

    Note in particular the shift from Uniting to Re-uniting.
    Of course Ireland was only ever politically united under the Crown as part of the UK.

    Looks like Marty really is a visionary.
    Have to agree it is the only realistic prospect

  • I am intrigued by the hand-held oracle in the cartoon. The oracle presumably represents the Republican ‘old guard’ whose viewpoint is overruled by Gerry Adams.

    Antipathy towards the Monarchy has, for a long time, been one of the pillars of Sinn Fein theology. The pragmatists inside Sinn Fein may have one the day but I also suspect that this event will, in the medium and long term, have a debilitating effect upon Sinn Fein’s support.