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Queen 'a very pleasant lady,' Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill says on RTE's Late Late show debut


Michelle O'Neill on RTE's Late Late Show

Michelle O'Neill on RTE's Late Late Show

Michelle O'Neill on RTE's Late Late Show

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill made her debut on RTE’s Late Late Show last night, revealing how she felt the Royal family had played a significant role in building peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and between Ireland and the UK.

In a wide-ranging interview touching her personal and political history and her political ambitions, Ms O’Neill spoke about how becoming a mother aged 16 changed her life, her hopes for post-Brexit Ireland, the ongoing controversy around her attendance at Bobby Storey’s funeral, and her relationship with DUP First Minister Arlene Foster.

The Sinn Fein vice president told presenter Ryan Tubridy she felt sympathy for the Queen at Prince Philip’s death earlier this month.

Describing the Queen as “a very pleasant lady”, Ms O’Neill said: “She may be a Queen and a public figure, but she lost her husband of over 70 years. Of course I felt sympathy for her.

“She’s no different from any other person that may have lost their partner.”

The deputy First Minster told her host she’d had had her hair done specially for her appearance on Ireland premier chat show - taking advantage of yesterday’s reopening of hairdressers in Northern ireland. as lockdown rules begins to ease north of the Border.

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Turning to her relationship with Mrs Foster, Ms O’Neill said that while she and the DUP leader were very different people, they also had much in common.

"Arlene and I are very different, we come from very different background, we have different political aspirations. But at the same time, we have a lot of things in common. We’re both from rural constituencies, were both female leaders, and we're both trying to take our parties and our teams with us.

“We both have very challenging jobs, and we face a lot of misogyny in what we do,” she said.

“I think we have a fairly decent relationship.

“Like any relationship, you have good days and bad days,” she smiled

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