Irish nationalists Sinn Fein offer 'sincere sympathies' upon Queen's death

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FILE PHOTO: Queen's Christmas broadcast

BELFAST (Reuters) - The Northern Irish leader of Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein offered her sincere condolences to the family of Britain's Queen, whom she said made a significant contribution to advancing peace and reconciliation between the two islands.

"I would like to offer my sincere sympathies and condolences to her children and her extended family circle," Michelle O'Neill said in a statement on Thursday that also acknowledged "the profound sorrow" within Northern Ireland's pro-British unionist community.

"Personally, I am grateful for Queen Elizabeth's significant contribution and determined efforts to advancing peace and reconciliation between our two islands," she said.

"Throughout the peace process she led by example in building relationships with those of us who are Irish, and who share a different political allegiance and aspirations to herself and her government."

(Reporting by Amanda Ferguson and Padraic Halpin; Editing by Conor Humphries)