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Martin McGuiness to meet The Queen


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Resolved

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Former IRA leader Martin McGuinness is to meet the Queen and shake her hand at a charity reception in Belfast on Wednesday.

The times, they are a changin'

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csqwared

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This word terrorist worries me slightly - particularly in the case of people like McGuinness. In another context people fighting for a political ideal have been known as 'freedom fighters' and I cannot divine a distinction between the two cases. It seems to me that one or the other description is used depending upon how the speaker stands politically. History has shown the Brits quite happily aiding the Afghan 'freedom fighters' when it suited them but now have a different terminology. I'm not condoning for one minute the acts perpetrated by these people and hopefully this magnanimous gesture by HRH will go a long way to helping the Irish situation. Sadly, I somehow doubt it.

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Cymro.

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So who has done the most to bring peace to Ireland? Probably Martin McGuinness I would think and at a very real risk to himself.

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morddwyd

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McGuinness is the living proof that terrorism works.

Does anybody really think he would be Ulster's Deputy First minister, or would be meeting the Queen, if it were not for the number of British soldiers and policemen and civilians he has had a hand in killing?

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Diemmess

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Prejudice had application on both sides. When Brian Faulkner the last premier emerged in fury from another stalemate meeting in Stormont, cameras and reporters were there in force.

I think it was one journalist from the Beeb, who asked Faulkner "What went wrong in there Prime Minister"

The P.M. almost speechless with rage didn't stop but over his shoulder he said "Ask that Demon Priest in there!"

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bremner

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fm

It takes two to need a peace.

The IRA either by design or luck hit HMG where it really hurt when they bombed the Baltic Exchange in 1993. Kill civilians, police or the armed forces and that is the price we were seemingly willing to pay. Damage GB PLC and that is different and the roadway to Good Friday 1997 was drawn.

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Aitchbee

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It's a 'Religious Thing, Stupid'. Bill Clinton's similar remark about America's economy would be-fit this historic meeting.

It makes sense for opposing sides to bury the hatchet.

A united Ireland again, is a possibility.

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bremner

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"A united Ireland again, is a possibility."

There is only one way a united Ireland would happen and that is if Eire rejoined the United Kingdom...

...and you think that is likely?

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Aitchbee

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Regarding Eire joining the UK...no.

But who foresaw (foreseen) West & East Germany sortin' things out, back in (circa) 1989?

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Condom

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Bremner

I think you may be wrong in making that statement. In the not too distant future the population of NI will have Roman Catholics in the majority and who knows then what might happen as the powers that be have said that if the people vote for unification with Eire then so be it.

I do not for one minute suggest that some cans of worms will not be reopened if this happens but it it certainly on the cards in the next 50 years if birth rates continue as present.

Who knows what the UK might look like by then especially if Scotland decides to go her own way.

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Al94

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Bremner is correct.

The economic realities of recent years have put a united Ireland as a republic further away than ever.

According to a 2010 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey carried out by Queens University Belfast and the University of Ulster, 73% support remaining part of the United Kingdom via devolved government or direct rule, with support for leaving the UK and forming a political United Ireland at 16%. In terms of religion, 52% of Northern Ireland Catholics now support remaining part of the United Kingdom via devolved government or direct rule, usually while continuing to support nationalist political parties.The number of Catholics supporting a United Ireland has now dropped to 33% amongst the Catholic population, according to the same poll. The proportion of Protestants given in the study who wish to join the Republic is under 5%, as 90% prefer remaining in the United Kingdom in some form.

I think it likely that these figures will have moved further towards support to remain part of UK since 2010.

Sinn Fein are now struggling to win political support in the Republic and that is the main reason for their more more "moderate" stance.

McGuinness has a past that no one will forget but at the same time he is older and views a changed world from a more mature perspective as do we all.

His decision to meet the Queen acknowledging the allegiance that a majority of the NI population have to her is a further building block in the way forward as was the Queen's visit to a Roman Catholic Church and her highly acclaimed visit to the Republic last year.

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