Clinton pleads for peace as Northern Ireland's McGuinness buried

Former US President Bill Clinton and former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern arriving for the funeral of Northern Ireland's former deputy first minister and ex-IRA commander Martin McGuinness at St Columba's Church Long Tower in Londonderry. Niall

Among those attending the funeral will be the President, Michael D Higgins, the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, DUP leader Arlene Foster, former United States president Bill Clinton, and former British prime minister Tony Blair.

Thousands attended the mass, including a packed congregation inside St Columbus church, outside in the streets, and at Free Derry Corner where pictures were beamed live on to a giant television screen. He made honourable compromises and was strong enough to keep them.

He died in the early hours of Tuesday morning, surrounded by his family, after a short illness.

"I'm here to see history", said Antoinette McGuinness, 66, from Leitrim in the Irish republic. The archbishop said that he had "no doubt" that Mr McGuinness' "faith and relationship with God guided him along this journey". He added that the Sinn Fein politician's success in the peace process came from "expanding the definition of "us" and shrinking the definition of "them".

Mr McGuinness's beloved Bogside neighbourhood came to a standstill as his remains - the coffin draped in the Irish Tricolour - were walked to St Columba's Church, led by a lone piper.

There were no IRA symbols on show and the service was also attended by the leader of the Democratic Unionist leader, Arlene Foster, who was praised by Clinton for her attendance despite criticism by some families of IRA victims.

"Honour his legacy by our living and finish the work that's there to be done".

Burial took place later at the City Cemetery, where Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams and the party's Stormont leader Michelle O'Neill gave a graveside oration. "He risked the wrath of his comrades and the rejection of his adversaries", Mr Clinton said at Mr McGuinness's funeral.

Chief celebrant Father Michael Canny recalled having many conversations with Mr McGuinness in which the Sinn Fein veteran said he knew only too well how many people struggled with his IRA past.

"Republicans were not blameless, and many people right across the community find it hard to forgive and impossible to forget", he said.

Former US president Bill Clinton urged Northern Ireland to finish the work of peace at the funeral Thursday of Martin McGuinness, the former paramilitary commander turned peace negotiator.

"The values he had, the principles he championed, are still very much alive".

Bill Clinton has made more visits to Ireland than any other U.S. president, due to his role in helping to unite Northern Ireland's community after the Troubles.

Related:

Comments


Other news