Its been almost a week since their icy exchange on RTE’s Primetime television program, but today it seemed tensions had thawed between the Sinn Fein presidential candidate Martin McGuinness and Primetime host Miriam O’Callaghan as they shook hands outside the mansion house. The meeting between the pair came as they prepared to attend a presidential forum on disability organised by inclusion Ireland.
According to O’Callaghan they had a friendly conversation and she went on to say that she continued to ‘ like and respect all the seven candidates’ . However, she refused to be drawn on what was said during their one to one meeting following McGuinness’ objection to her line of questioning, explaining that it ‘was a private meeting between two people so my lips are sealed’.
McGuinness will hope his display of no ill feelings towards the RTE presenter will draw a line under the matter. The incident had somewhat undermined his campaign with many suggesting his reaction and subsequent demand for a one to one meeting following the show were ‘bully’ boy tactics and conveyed a man full of anger . With his campaign centered around his peace making skills it seems that this meeting with the popular presenter will have done him no harm, as he looks to distance himself from his IRA past.
The Sinn Fein candidate had taken offence to what he believed was unfair treatment on the RTE show and later had a private meeting with Miriam O’Callaghan, to which sources said left O’Callaghan visibly ‘shaken’. The host had earlier inquired about McGuinness’ IRA past and asked ‘how do you square, Martin McGuinness, with your God, the fact that you were involved in the murder of so many people?’
The latest poll conducted by the Sunday Business Post had Martin McGuinness third favorite to win the race for the Aras, behind Sean Gallagher and Michael D. Higgins.