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Greeting from McCrea shows how far we've come - McGuinness

Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has told an American website the importance of a recent “hello” from the hardline unionist.

"Haven’t washed my hand since," joked McGuinness when asked about the historic moment.
Image: Paul Faith/PA Wire/Press Association Images

MARTIN MCGUINNESS HAS said that a recent greeting from Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MP Willie McCrea highlights how far the peace process in Northern Ireland has come.

Speaking to New York-based website Irish Central this week, the Deputy First Minister recounted how McCrea had just “very recently” said “hello” to him for the first time in over 30 years.

Commenting on another historic moment, the Sinn Féin politician joked that he hasn’t washed his hand since meeting Queen Elizabeth II on 27 June. However, the mood of the interview turned more sombre as he confirmed that he acknowledged the hurt caused when Lord Mountbatten was killed in an IRA bomb in 1979 during his conversation with her.

McGuinness said the debates raging in Northern Ireland now had shifted focus. The fact that Lennox the dog hogged the headlines ahead of 12 July was emblematic of a new era, he said.

For the full interview, see the Irish Central website>

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