\"Queen

Queen Elizabeth shakes hands with Northern Ireland deputy first minister Martin McGuinness at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast this morning Photo by: Paul Faith/PA Wire

The Queen wears green as she greets Martin McGuinness - VIDEO

\"Queen

Queen Elizabeth shakes hands with Northern Ireland deputy first minister Martin McGuinness at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast this morning Photo by: Paul Faith/PA Wire

The historic handshake has taken place – Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness and the Queen of England have shaken hands twice in Belfast.

The gesture took place at the Lyric Theatre in South Belfast on Wednesday morning. Martin McGuinness spoke to her in Gaelic and wished her goodbye and Godspeed after her visit to Northern Ireland.  (Slan agus Beannacht)

Witnessed by President of Ireland Michael D Higgins and Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson, the two briefly shook hands and McGuinness also shook hands with Prince Philip.

They shook hands at a reception for Co-Operation Ireland at the theatre. Both the Queen and President Higgins are patrons of Co-operation Ireland.

The meeting was filmed and images were released for broadcast and print around the world.
Reports say the initial handshake between McGuinness and the Queen was conducted in private.

But their farewell handshake was recorded on camera and this image will be released.
McGuinness has publicly stated that he has no issue with the photographs being released.

“I do not seek secrecy in anything I do,” he stated.

A Sinn Fein spokesman confirmed that any decision on media access and photographs was down to Buckingham Palace officials.

McGuinness is also due to speak at Westminster in London on Thursday on what Sinn Féin has billed as a ‘keynote address on future British-Irish relations’.

The Belfast reception, part of the Queen’s Jubilee visit to the North, was attended by 50 guests.

Many were from the arts including the poet Michael Longley, pianist Barry Douglas, actors Adrian Dunbar and Conleth Hill, painter Colin Davidson and singer Brian Kennedy.

“This event aims to highlight how the arts have contributed to reconciliation and peace-building on the island of Ireland,” said former senior police officer Peter Sheridan, chief executive of Co-operation Ireland.

Here's the BBC report on the historic moment:

COMMENTS

Log in with your social accounts:

Or, log in with your IrishCentral account:

Forgot your password ?

Don't have an account yet? Register now !

Join IrishCentral with your social accounts:


Already have an account ?

For Newsletter Subscribers – Draw for 1 Prize on December 31st.

Prize: Your Piece of Ireland – a Square of Land in the heart of the Glens of Antrim, Ireland

More details here (or you can buy a little piece of Ireland directly): http://bit.ly/1zew9ox

Terms & Conditions

Or, sign up for an IrishCentral account below:

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


Make sure we gathered the correct information from you

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


You already have an account on IrishCentral! Please confirm you're the owner.


Our new policy requires our users to save a first and last name. Please update your account: