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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
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Martin McGuinness told us why he can get on with just about anybody

Sinn Féin’s Deputy First Minister thinks he’ll “get on okay” with Peter Robinson’s expected successor.

MARTIN MCGUINNESS BELIEVES he will “get on okay” with Peter Robinson’s successor as Northern Ireland First Minister and DUP leader.

Arlene Foster, who temporarily held the First Minister position earlier this year, is expected to succeed Robinson full-time when he formally steps down in the coming weeks.

McGuinness, the North’s Deputy First Minister, told TheJournal.ie that he believes his experience of working with her predecessors will put him in a strong position:

I think I’ll get on okay with her. I think anybody who can work with Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson can work with anybody.

Source: Michelle Hennessy/TheJournal.ie

The Sinn Féin MLA said that the recent Fresh Start Agreement, which was hammered out over the course of ten weeks of intense negotiations, presented an opportunity to move forward in the North.

Foster is considered in some quarters to be more hardline than Robinson and has previously said that the “jury is still out” on whether Sinn Féin is serious about making the Northern Ireland institutions work.

But McGuinness said that he is committed to the various agreements between nationalists and unionists in the North.

“I am an Irish republican, my all-Ireland agenda had me in part of my buildings in Belfast this morning and Dáil Éireann this afternoon,” he said.

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“I think I am quite entitled to work consistently to achieve what is a key political objective of Sinn Féin – that is the peaceful and democratic reunificiaton of our country.

“But vital to all of that is the agreements that we’ve all signed up to. We have signed up to the Good Friday Agreement.

“The DUP have signed up to the same institutions in the shape of the St Andrew’s Agreement, the Hillsborough Agreement and now the Fresh Start Agreement and within all of that the rights of both sets of major communities in the North are protected.”

There will be much more from our interview with Martin McGuinness on TheJournal.ie in the coming days. 

Read: January surprise? Joan is on high alert for an early election

Read: Could the British do business with a Sinn Féin government?

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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