Martin McGuinness attacks 'stupid' Government decisions
Friday 29 June 2012
Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness followed up his ground-breaking meeting with the Queen with a tough attack on British policy in Northern Ireland, accusing the Government of making "stupid and unhelpful decisions".
Speaking in London, he said the legacy of British policy in Ireland "has contaminated normal politics and normal relations between our islands for generations". His strong language is viewed in Belfast as an effort to reassure republican grassroots that his meeting with the Queen does not signify any softening of his republican credentials.
Although there has been little overt criticism of the meeting from the grassroots, republicans have acknowledged that some of those campaigning for inquiries into controversial Troubles deaths have been "hurt".
Mr McGuinness was therefore at pains to stress that he is not departing from the age-old republican assertion that the conflict is at root the fault of Britain. In a less aggressive part of his speech, he hoped his encounter with the Queen would become "a key building block" for a new relationship.
But he also criticised David Cameron for a lack of engagement with local politicians. He said this may have contributed to "stupid, damaging unhelpful" decisions over the jailing of two dissident republicans.
- 1 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Woolwich murder: They killed, then they performed - these men should be starved of our attention
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.