Sinn Féin says decision to pay tribute to late Queen will not alienate supporters

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD
PA Images. Compressed for web.
Mary Lou McDonald maintained she has 'no truck with monarchy'. Credit: PA

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald says she does not believe paying tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II will 'alienate' her party's supporters.The Dublin TD was speaking on 'The Tonight Show' on Virgin Media and was asked on her own and her party's position on the Crown.

Earlier this week, members from the Stormont Assembly including SF vice president Michelle O'Neill and Assembly Speaker Alex Maskey met with King Charles III at Hillsborough Castle, after the death of his mother and the United Kingdom's longest reigning monarch.

"I think the world has moved on, a lot," Ms McDonald told The Tonight Show.

"We'll have 25 years of the Good Friday Agreement, a quarter of a century of a peace process next year. I mean, thank God for that, a huge collective achievement.

"I as a republican, as somebody who has no truck with monarchy, who does not feel any sense of allegiance or even understanding of all of that, I was more than happy to acknowledge Queen Elizabeth II."

Speaking on what she called a 'cordial' and 'direct' relationship the party has built up with King Charles III, the party President said that relationship was evident when the new monarch shook hands with Michelle O'Neill.

Ms McDonald added: "Who would have thought 20 years ago, 10 years ago, that that was possible.

"This shows, and I hope this gives confidence to people. On the one hand, to reaffirm just how far we have come but also to demonstrate just how much further we can go."

Asked if she was worried about her party alienating some people due to its present-day relationship with the British monarchy, she added: "Absolutely not."

"I am a committed, convinced and passionate United Irelander."

Since her death last Thursday, Queen Elizabeth II has been praised for her work on reconciliation in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.

In 2011, she paid an historic visit to the Republic of Ireland, which Sinn Fein boycotted. However, a year later, the Queen met and shook hands with former IRA commander and at the time, Northern Ireland's deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness.

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