Martin McGuinness toasts Queen at Windsor Castle state banquet

Martin McGuinness at banquet Martin McGuinness arrives for the state banquet at Windsor Castle

Related Stories

Northern Ireland deputy first minister and former IRA leader Martin McGuinness has joined in a toast to the Queen during a state banquet at Windsor Castle.

Mr McGuinness stood for the toast, proposed by Irish President Michael D Higgins, as an orchestra played God Save The Queen.

The banquet was in honour of President Higgins.

It marked the end of the first day of his four-day state visit.

When he was a Sinn Féin MP Mr McGuinness refused to sit in the House of Commons because he would have had to swear an oath of allegiance to the monarch.

Mr McGuinness had previously shaken hands with the Queen during her 2012 visit to Northern Ireland.

Relatives of IRA victims protested outside Windsor Castle against Mr McGuinness' attendance at the banquet.

Martin McGuinness: "If there's a toast to the Queen I will observe all the protocols and civilities"

A father whose son was killed in the Omagh bombing was part of the protest.

Victor Barker's 12-year-old son died in the 1998 attack, which killed 28 other people and unborn twins.

Mr Barker held a sign that said: "A terrorist in a white tie and tails is still a terrorist - Martin McGuiness time to tell the truth". (Sic)


He said: "I'm here because I think that people should be reminded of McGuinness' past and not just rewrite history as far as he's concerned."

The sister of a woman killed in the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings called for the arrest of Mr McGuinness.

Windsor protests Relatives of victims of the 1974 Birmingham bomb protested outside Windsor Castle

Julie Hambleton, whose 18-year-old sister Maxine died in the atrocity, said she was angry at the British establishment for giving "permission" to Mr McGuinness to "come on to the mainland".

She added: "By rights he should be arrested. He's got so much blood on his hands."

She described his attendance at the event as "the epitome of hypocrisy", and added: "We are absolutely outraged at the British establishment."

Since May 2007, Mr McGuinness has held the role of deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, in a power-sharing coalition of unionists and Irish nationalists at Stormont.

Before the banquet Mr McGuinness had praised the Queen for her "leadership role" in the peace process.

His attendance at such an occasion would have been unthinkable even a decade ago.

Sinn Féin refused to take part when the Queen made an historic visit to the Republic of Ireland in 2011.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Northern Ireland stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • KnucklesGood or bad?

    For many it can be very satisfying to 'crack' the bones in your hand, but is it bad for you?


  • BatteriesClick Watch

    More power to your phone - the lithium-ion batteries that could last twice as long

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.