A Sinn Fein leader has described the meeting between Martin McGuinness and the Queen last month as “a huge gesture of reconciliation and friendship” from republicans to the Protestant and unionist people.
But the party’s national chairman Declan Kearney went on to accuse sections of political unionism of trying to slow down the peace process.
Kearney, the lead figure in a Sinn Fein reconciliation initiative, was writing in the newspaper An Phoblacht.
He described that meeting between the Deputy First Minister and the Queen as “an act of leadership and vision” designed to demonstrate “republican sincerity for the authentic reconciliation which we advocate”.
The article comes just days after Mr Kearney described the events of Bloody Friday as “unjustifiable”.
Mr Kearney said of the Queen meeting: “Some have tried to devalue the importance of this gesture for narrow political reasons.
“That’s part of the current ‘slow down the peace process agenda’ led by sections of political unionism.”