Council opens Athlone book of condolence for Martin McGuinness

His coffin was carried by Sinn Fein figures including party president Gerry Adams and leader in the North Michelle O'Neill.

As Ulster's former first minister, Arlene Foster, took her pew in the church, more applause rang out.

On his transformation from militant advocate of armed struggle to democratic peaceful politics, Fr Canny continued: "The word journey has been used by many people in recent days to describe Martin's transition from man of war to man of peace".

Unionist leaders have acknowledged the important role Mr McGuinness played in the peace process, but also said his death on Tuesday was a hard day for IRA victims.

A generation ago, the IRA, led by McGuinness, had tried to murder her father.

During his homily Father Michael Canny said the presence of political rivals stood as a testament to Martin McGuinness's work.

Rev David Latimer, of the First Derry Presbyterian Church, called Mr McGuinness a friend, whose big heart "enabled him to reach out in quite unexpected ways to both to friends and to foes alike".

Clinton was among a range of political leaders who attended McGuinness's funeral in his native Derry in Northern Ireland along with thousands of people.

President Michael D Higgins, the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and DUP leader, Arlene Foster, as well as the former U.S. president, Bill Clinton, the former British prime minister, Tony Blair, are expected to attend the requiem mass in the Church of Long Tower.

"Archbishop Eamon, who visited Derry yesterday to pay his respects at Martin's family home, has offered his Mass in Armagh this morning for the repose of Martin's soul".

"So on behalf of Sinn Féin I rededicate our party to completing his life's work and to living through his legacy".

"Republicans were not blameless, and many people right across the community find it hard to forgive and impossible to forget", he said. Foster losing her job as First Minister.

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the Commons: "Martin played an immeasurable role in bringing about peace in Northern Ireland, and it's that peace we all want to endure".

He also struck up a warm relationship with the Queen, whom he praised for her contribution to peace.

The politician died from a rare heart condition on Tuesday aged 66. She is to send a personal message to Mr McGuinness's family.

With Stormont still without a power-sharing 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 book will be available to the public at City Hall from 11am.

  • Carolyn Briggs