Tuesday, 28 March 2017


OVER 500 people attended a vigil to mark the passing of Martin McGuinness in Marcus Square, Newry, last Wednesday night.
The former Deputy First Minister died last Monday and thousands, including hundreds from the district, paid their respects at his funeral at St Columba's Long Tower Chapel in his home city of Derry.
Speaking at the vigil, Newry and Armagh MLA Megan Fearon said Mr McGuinness' death has left a "deep void" in the country.
"Martin was a deeply committed Irish republican activist who in his youth was confronted by the naked sectarianism and injustice of the British state in Ireland," said the Sinn Fein MLA.
"He believed in freedom and equality. He resisted those who withheld these by military means, and then he helped shape conditions in which it was possible to advocate for these by unarmed strategies.
"Martin also understood that reconciliation and peace-building meant reaching out to others. He played a leadership role in this throughout his time in elected office, and especially from 2007, when he and Ian Paisley became partners in a unique power-sharing arrangement.
"Martin's leadership and vision helped turn Sinn Féin into the largest political party on the island of Ireland. Our responsibility, now that he has gone, is to build on that legacy. To continue the work that he helped pioneer."
DUP MLA William Irwin passed on his condolences to the McGuinness family but added that "we must think of the many innocent familiestoday still hurting and seeking justice for the crimes of the IRA".


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