You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Sinn Féin jubilee letter to UK Queen welcomed by Arlene Foster

Journal.ie logo Journal.ie 02/06/2022 Press Association
Michelle O'Neill thanked Queen Elizabeth for her "significant contribution" to the peace process. © PA Michelle O'Neill thanked Queen Elizabeth for her "significant contribution" to the peace process.

FORMER NORTHERN IRELAND first minister Arlene Foster has welcomed a Sinn Féin move to write to the UK’s queen on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee.

Sinn Féin vice president Michelle O’Neill wrote to Elizabeth Windsor to praise her “significant” contribution to the peace process and to acknowledge her “dedicated public service to the British people” during her 70 years on the throne.

O’Neill thanked the queen for her “warmth and unfailing courtesy” on the occasions when the pair have met and wrote of the “value and respect” she had for the monarch’s contribution to reconciliation

Former DUP leader Foster – who was made a dame as part of the queen’s Birthday Honours – praised O’Neill’s gesture.

“Obviously, I very much welcome it,” she told BBC Radio Ulster.

Foster, who served alongside O’Neill at the head of the Stormont Executive, said the Platinum Jubilee celebrated three things – the queen’s public service and dedication; the institution of the monarchy; and the concept of Britishness.

She added: “I think for republicans, like Michelle O’Neill, like Nicola Sturgeon, they have recognised in Her Majesty the Queen the first of those, the fact that she has given so much service to the country.

“They’re recognising that and I think that that is something that is to be welcomed.”

O’Neill’s letter to the Queen, which was sent last month and reported by the Belfast Telegraph today, read: “I thought it best to write to you personally as you mark 70 years of dedicated public service to the British people as Monarch.

“Your Platinum Jubilee is an historic moment, especially for all those from the unionist and British tradition on the island of Ireland, and across these islands whom with great pride and devotion hold you very dear.

“Personally, I wish to thank you for your warmth and unfailing courtesy on the occasions in which both I and my late colleague, Martin McGuinness, met with you in Belfast in 2012 during your Diamond Jubilee, and thereafter at Windsor Castle during the State Visit of President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins to the UK in 2014.

“I wish to record the value and respect I place on the significant contribution you have made to the advancement of peace and reconciliation between the different traditions on our island, and between our two islands during those years of the peace process.

“As incoming First Minister of the Northern Ireland Executive I, like you, will take every opportunity to strengthen the bonds of friendship and renew the spirit of co-operation between those of us in the world of politics and public life from different traditions, and also the people and communities we proudly represent.”

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from The Journal

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon