Northern Ireland news

SF president's 'cordial' correspondence with King Charles 'insult to victims of British imperialism' MLA claims

King Charles meeting Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill and Alex Maskey at Hillsborough Castle last November. Picture by Niall Carson/PA Wire
Paul Ainsworth

MARY Lou McDonald's "very cordial" relationship with King Charles through letters has been criticised, with an MLA describing it as "an insult to the victims of British imperialism".

The Sinn Féin president revealed details of her correspondence with the British monarch during her recent interview with The Sunday Times.

Speaking of the king, whose coronation is to take place in London in May, Ms McDonald said: "I like him very much, and I found him very interesting and very interested."

Her revelation follows scenes of a friendly relationship between King Charles and Sinn Féin MLAs during his visit to Hillsborough Castle last November, following the death of Queen Elizabeth.

The monarch shook hands with Sinn Féin vice president Michelle O'Neill and former Stormont speaker Alex Maskey, and discussed how they had become the north's largest party following last May's Assembly election.

Mr Maskey had previously praised the late queen's efforts to build peace in the north following her death.

In her interview, Ms McDonald described her written correspondence with King Charles as "very cordial".

West Belfast People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll said the "cosy relationship with the head of the British Armed Forces is utterly repugnant".

He said: "It is an insult to the victims of British imperialism and colonialism, adding the monarchy was "unequal, outdated, and should be consigned to the dustbin of history".

Mr Carroll said working-class people "have no need for reconciliation with an institution marked by obscene wealth, inherited privilege and militarism".

Sinn Féin was contacted for comment by The Irish News.


Northern Ireland news