McGuinness WILL attend events during Pres Higgins state visit to GB

Statement released by Sinn Fein tonight

We also seek an agreed, united Ireland which accommodates those who define themselves as British.

It is within this context that I can confirm that deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness will accept an invitation to attend all events as part of the State visit.

This decision by a confident republican leadership is in keeping with the transition that is ongoing within the island of Ireland and between Ireland, including the North, and Britain.

There is now a peaceful and democratic way to end the Union and Partition. This is a work in progress and Sinn Féin accepts that there is an onus on us to persuade our unionist neighbours that their interests are best served in a new, agreed Ireland.

While Martin McGuinness’s involvement in President Higgins’s State visit may not be welcome by opponents of change, it is yet another example of Sinn Féin’s commitment to an inclusive future based on tolerance an equality.

This decision may cause difficulty for some Irish republicans in light of ongoing difficulties in the north but, I would appeal to them to view this positively in the context of republican and democratic objectives and the interests of unity and peace on this island.

The real significance and value of President Higgins’s visit, will only be realised if peace and the political processes are built upon by both Governments. That means implementing all outstanding elements of the Good Friday and other Agreements

In other news, Peter Robinson said today that it is likely that he will not meet the Pope. I know sometimes, I give the party a hard time, but this move is very welcome and should add to the importance of President Higgins state visit to Britain.

, ,

  • Barnshee

    “If or when Marty is given an OBE or other ‘honour’ he’ll have those two or likewise trying to nod the heads off themselves in agreement behind him.”

    I have principles –well if you don`t like them I have other princples

    PS there is no money associated with an OBE used to be referred to (fairly) as a reward for “Other Buggers Efforts”

  • Reader

    Barnshee: PS there is no money associated with an OBE used to be referred to (fairly) as a reward for “Other Buggers Efforts”
    Apparently there was a parallel system run by the Cute Hoors on this side of the ditch – the “Order of the Brown Envelope”. There was definitely money associated with that.

  • Gopher

    I wonder if the penny will dropped with the SDLP that Marty has just mugged them. I can just imagine the invective if they had done this “Castle Catholics” “Stoop Down Low” would be mild Im sure. I hope the SDLP now wise up to the dance that SF have led them and become their own party once more Maybe they can stop looking over their shoulders worried at being called “Anti Republican”

  • Granni Trixie

    Maybe I’m not the must astute, but wil you elaborate on ehT you are getting at.

    And for the record I think that SF/Marty were right to attend the Banquet …being polite should be the norm and having good relations with England and Ireland should be too. At the same time the bleak image of Victor Barker on the outside of all the merriment was a grim and sad reminder of the lives of people we must not leave behind with all this new found bonamie.

  • Charles_Gould


    The SDLP has always stood firm by its own values. You are right though – all those people in Sinn Féin who would have called the SDLP names for attending this banquet, are now calling this an act of leadership. Gerry Adams being one of the worst offenders. He wrote the following words: “While Martin McGuinness’s involvement in President Higgins’s state visit may not be welcome by opponents of change, it is yet another example of Sinn Féin’s commitment to an inclusive future based on tolerance and equality.”

    I mean. Think about it. Mark Durkan was right when he said he was the first Irish nationalist representative to shake hands with the Queen. That was in 2002, when SF stayed away. Who is the real leader? Who took the first step. The SDLP, of course.

  • Charles_Gould

    Mark Durkan was the first Irish nationalist representative to welcome the Queen – that was when she visited Stormont in 2012 some 12 years ago. Leadership.

  • Granni Trixie

    So, it seems clear from the above that SF and SDLP have elevated polite ‘political’ relationships to a level they do not deserve. Infact seems to me there is a false consciousness over all of this. The weeks events,the state visit, is only important because it is putting right a wrong in relationships exacerbated by the IRA campaign of violence.
    I resent having to commend MMG for acting like a normal person ….he is only putting right a wrong which he/IRA inflicted.

  • Gopher

    @Granni I believe in their eyes are the only party allowed to get plaudits for gestures, it appeared they have had the SDLP scared rigid like a rabbit caught in republican headlights to make any conciliatory policy or more importantly embark on their own independent policy. This has been one of the fundamental reasons for their (the SDLP’s) demise being handcuffed to SF.

    Charles, Mark is about the best SDLP operator now but I fear for his seat. With the boundary changes there is not one place where the SDLP can say they are on top outside of Westminster. I think this will have a knock on effect at those elections.