Northern Ireland news

McGuinness: DUP vetoed plan for Stormont leaders to watch both Irish teams at Euros

Former First Minister Arlene Foster and former deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Downing Street in 2016. Picture by Jonathan Brady, Press Association

THE DUP vetoed a Sinn Féin proposal for Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness to watch Ireland’s two soccer teams at last year’s European Championships in France, the former deputy first minister has said.

Mr McGuinness told The Irish News he had suggested the Stormont leaders attend both Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland games together as a gesture of reconciliation.

However, the proposal was rejected by the DUP.

Mrs Foster attended Northern Ireland’s game against Poland, while her Sinn Féin counterpart went to both the Republic’s clash with Italy and Northern Ireland’s match with Germany.

“It’s not like I was asking her to go to a 1916 commemoration,” Mr McGuinness said.

“This was a football match in France and I didn’t think it was too much to expect that we could have been involved in what hopefully would’ve been the beginning of outreach – but it didn’t happen.”

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