Martin McGuinness has indicated that he may be prepared to meet Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, acknowledging for the first time that she impressed him during her visit to Ireland in May 2011.
The Queen is due to visit the North this summer as part of her diamond jubilee celebrations.
Last May, Mr McGuinness, the Northern Ireland deputy first minister, along with Sinn Féin leadership, refused to attend any functions she attended.
Mr McGuinness told RTÉ: “Was I pleased that she spoke Irish at Dublin Castle? I was. Was I pleased that she stood very reverently to honour those who had given their lives in the Easter Rising for Ireland’s freedom? I was impressed by that.
“But what was I most impressed with? I was most impressed with her speech in Dublin Castle when she talked about how we could all have wished that things could have been done differently, or not at all.
“I think that when she said that — that was her acknowledgement, this is my interpretation — that Britain could have done an awful lot of things better in the past.”
Mr McGuinness said any decision would be a matter for the party, but indicated that he wanted to been seen as a representative of all the people of the North.
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