Published: Thu, March 23, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Vigils held across Ireland in memory of Martin McGuinness

Vigils held across Ireland in memory of Martin McGuinness

But British lawmaker Norman Tebbit, whose wife Margaret was paralysed in the IRA's 1984 Brighton Hotel bombing, said the world was "a sweeter and cleaner place now" without McGuinness.

When I heard of Martin's untimely death, my mind immediately cast back to May 8, 2007. Rev. Dr. Frank Sella; Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland Eamon Martin, Catholic Bishop of Derry Donal McKeown and Peter Lynas, Northern Ireland director of the Evangelical Alliance.

Mrs Foster said those who claimed Northern Ireland had not changed were wrong.

Mr McGuinness was a member of the IRA Army Council before becoming Sinn Féin's chief negotiator in the Nothern Ireland peace process.

"With him the truth has died", said Hambleton, who is still campaigning for the perpetrators of the pub bombings to be brought to justice.

With Stormont still without a powersharing executive or new Speaker in the wake of the subsequent snap election, traditional protocols were overridden to enable MLAs to assemble to mark his death.

The two parties are now deadlocked, meaning that the British government could impose direct rule of Northern Ireland from London within weeks.

Ten years ago in May McGuinness had made history by entering government with his once bitter foe, Ian Paisley of the DUP.

Among those commenting on Mr McGuinness were Prime Minister Theresa May, her Irish counterpart Enda Kenny, Irish President Michael D Higgins, Secretary of State James Brokenshire and party leaders from across the political spectrum.

She added: "His leadership and the example he set will continue to inspire those of us who are determined to build a better future for all the generations to come". McGuinness was born in 1950 in Derry, on the province's northern coast, and grew up in the city when it was riven by sectarian bloodshed.

In 1972, at the age of 21, he was second-in-command of the IRA in Derry at the time of Bloody Sunday, when 14 civil rights protesters were killed in the city by soldiers.

He served prison time for IRA-related activities.

While Northern Ireland deputy first minister, Mr McGuinness said allegations that he had prior knowledge of the Enniskillen bomb were "securocrat fantasy" and he denied any involvement in the death of Mr Hegarty or Mr Gillespie. He said: "We'd had at one end of the scale the godfather of the Provisional IRA, and at the other end of the scale the man who became pivotal, as our party leader has said, in being in the government of Northern Ireland and of bringing republicans to that point where peace was the way forward".

He ended his statement with an Irish quote which translates as: "A faithful soul among the heroes of Ireland".

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