Book of condolence open in Dundalk this morning for Martin McGuinness
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 31, 2017,
Mar 31, 2017, 18:06
Although his coffin was draped in the Irish tricolour flag, the funeral had no Republican or IRA motifs as the family had previously agreed with the Catholic Church.
Sinn Féin councillors from the city and county will be part of a Guard of Honour at Mr. McGuinness' funeral today.
So great were the crowds that the funeral Mass was delayed.
Due to the vast number of mourners on the streets of the Bogside, Requiem Mass was delayed by half an hour.
The funeral of Northern Ireland's former deputy first minister and ex-IRA commander Martin McGuinness takes place at St Columba's Church Long Tower, in Londonderry.
Attendees included Irish President Michael D Higgins and his predecessor, Mary McAleese, as well as Taoiseach Enda Kenny and former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.
The ANC said it has sent its formal condolences to Sinn Fein.
During the ceremony Reverend David Latimer from First Derry Presbyterian Church spoke movingly of the friendship he had developed with the former deputy First Minister over the past decade.
The January resignation of McGuinness pulled the plug on the province's power-sharing government, triggering the Mar 2 elections, after he refused to work with DUP leader and first minister Arlene Foster over a heating scheme spat.
He said: "When he made a decision to fight for peace, Martin was calm, courageous, and direct".
IRA commander McGuinness was regarded as the most unsafe of opponents in a guerrilla campaign that would last a further three decades, before he helped to broker the 1998 peace accords, along with Clinton.
Mrs Foster then recalled her personal experience of the man himself: "We attended many joint announcements together and one that sticks in my mind is the opening of the Seamus Heaney Homeplace".
Referring to Mr. McGuinness' IRA past she said that she can not forget that "there will be empty chairs and broken hearts as a result of the terrorism Martin McGuinness supported".
Mr McGuinness died on Tuesday from a rare heart condition aged 66.
Referring to Foster and other unionists present inside the church on Thursday afternoon, Fr Michael Canny said in his homily: "There are people in this church today whose presence would have been unthinkable only a generation ago".
In a message of condolence, former U.S. President Barack Obama said late on Wednesday that McGuinness "had the wisdom and courage to pursue peace and reconciliation" and that his leadership was instrumental in turning the page on the past.