Martin McGuinness shook hands with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth in June 2012
Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness has accepted an invitation to attend the Windsor Castle banquet and several other events during the State visit of President Higgins to Britain next week.
The decision was confirmed following a meeting of Sinn Féin’s officer board in Dundalk this afternoon.
In a statement the party’s President, Gerry Adams said the visit by President Higgins must be viewed ‘against the backdrop of huge political changes that have taken place in recent years – changes in which republicans have played a leadership role.’
Mr Adams reiterated that achieving a united Ireland remains a fundamental goal for Sinn Féin.
He said that it is also committed to a future based on equality and mutual respect.
Mr McGuinness has been invited to the state banquet at Windsor Castle next Tuesday night. in his capacity as Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister.
Other guests will include Northern Ireland’s first minister, Peter Robinson, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the British Prime Minister, David Cameron.
Former President, Mary Mc Aleese and her husband, Martin, have also been invited to the Windsor Castle function.
In May 2011 Mr McGuinness declined an invitation to the banquet hosted by President McAleese at Dublin Castle during the historic visit of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth.
Northern Ireland’s first minister Peter Robinson had attended the event.
A year later, after elaborate behind the scenes diplomacy, the British Queen met and shook hands with Martin McGuinness at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast.
The platform created was a reception hosted by Co-Operation Ireland of which President Higgins and the Queen are joint patrons.
Mr McGuinness will also be a guest at a function in London’s Guildhall.
Mr McGuinness will also attend the concert at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday night.
RTÉ LIVE PLAYER