Time will tell, Sinn Fein, will be Asked many Questions, from the Grass Roots, let the Show Begin?

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King Charles III and Kerry Sinn Féin, what’s the view? – ‘I certainly wouldn’t be going to it myself’

 53m ago

When Michelle O’Neill attends Saturday’s Coronation of King Charles III in London it will generate criticism and praise.

Accepting the invite for the coronation of a monarch is the archetypal ‘Marmite moment’ for many Irish republicans insofar as they will either love it or hate it.

In one corner is the view that O’Neill’s presence represents a new departure for Sinn Féin, one of maturity and representation of all the people in Northern Ireland – nationalist and unionist.

In the opposite corner are feelings of discord that her decision represents a fundamental step away from Sinn Fein’s redline and underlines its acceptance that a monarch continues to reign over a part of Ireland.

Kerry is arguably one of the most staunchly republican counties on the island. It is represented by a Sinn Féin TD in the Dáil, and four councillors elected to Kerry County Council. Here’s what they think about their vice-president’s coronation attendance:

Deputy Pa Daly: Michelle O’Neill is a designated First Minister in Northern Ireland. She has always said she would be a First Minister for all in the six counties. When she says it, she means it.

While the monarchy might not mean much to me. It does mean a lot to a lot of people in the north. I respect her decision to decide to go to the coronation.

There is no acceptance of a monarchy. We are republicans, so we fundamentally disagree with the idea of a monarchy. We prefer to be citizens than subjects.

However, she is a First Minister for all the people; she is representing the electorate who want her to be the First Minister in the north. I support the decision she has taken.

Cllr Robert Beasley: Look, that’s her own decision. I suppose things have changed and I have no difficulty with it.

Personally, I have no interest in monarchy wherever they are, never had and never will. If she’s attending it, she’s attending it. It doesn’t bother me.

But I certainly wouldn’t be doing it myself. You will always have critics and I respect their decision.

I won’t be watching it. There has been a lot of changes since the Good Friday Agreement, we all must live with different situations. But I certainly wouldn’t attend it, nor would I watch it.

Cllr Cathal Foley: My feeling is she is elected by the people in the six counties to represent everyone on both sides of the community. I don’t see a problem with it.

Personally, I have no interest in it and I won’t be watching it. There is a significant population of the six counties, and probably here as well, who look up to royalty. That’s their entitlement and belief.

Michelle O’Neill is representing all those people. It would have been very unfair of her, or anyone else, not to go and represent these people.

Martin McGuinness has met with the royals in the past and the relationship is better than it ever was before. Mutual respect is important.

We’re still republicans, we don’t want monarchies, they should be abolished all over the world. But I respect the beliefs of those who support them.

I’m sure there are people too who had hoped Michelle O’Neill would have turned down the invitation so they could criticise her. She made the right decision.

Cllr Deirdre Ferris: My feeling is she has made the right decision. You can’t talk about inclusivity and respecting people’s beliefs and not show it.

As a member of the nationalist community in the six counties, she knows only too well what it feels like to be marginalised on the periphery with no voice or representation.

If she wants to be a representative, she must respect the opinions and beliefs of the unionist and loyalist community…I’m very happy with her decision to be there.

As far as I’m concerned, for us to achieve our main ideological belief of a united 32-county republic, the only way we can do that is by ensuring every member of every community in Ireland feels included, is listened to, and respected.

At the end of the day, compromise is important when it comes to bringing two jurisdictions together.

Cllr Tom Barry: Could not be contacted for a comment.

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