Queen Elizabeth II of England publicly shook the hand of former IRA leader Martin McGuinness. The event was the latest attempt at reconciliation between the British government and ex-IRA members. The violence in Northern Ireland was said to have killed around 3,600 people including more than 1,000 British Security Forces. In 1998 The Good Friday peace accord was signed helping to bring an end to the conflict. However, some splinter groups have carried on the violence against British rule over Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein, the former political arm of the IRA is seeking a referendum eventually on North Ireland’s independence from Great Britain.