Martin McGuinness 1950-2017
On Thursday afternoon, myself & my colleagues from Fingal Sinn Fein travelled to Derry's Bogside to say farewell to a leader, a comrade and a friend. I was honoured to join comrades from across the Island & beyond at St Columbas Church to hear the tributes paid to Martin McGuinness. I first met Martin as a 12 year old with my parents in Dublin City Centre in 1986, I was too young to understand what influence he would have on me in later life to fight for a just & fair Island. The many thousands of people who came to Derry was a testament to the positive input
he made to building a shared future on our Island, it is ironic that as Martin McGuinness was failing in health, the issue of an United Ireland was at the forefront of politics partly due to the unknown implications of Brexit as well as the confidence of our changing society.
Martin only last year visited Balbriggan during the general election & was received warmly in the town, a lover of cricket, he was only too conscious the part played by the town in the development of the sport. Former US President Bill Clinton put it concisely when he said if you want to honour Martin McGuinness then carry on his work in building a tolerant society - our Town has seen a lot of changes in recent years, changes challenge all of us, but tolerance assists in the building of our communities.
There is no doubt that Martin McGuinness led a life less ordinary but for a boy who left school at 15 in an unfair Orange State, where he was a second class citizen in the North & ignored in the south, he didn't go to war but war came to him, but he was determined to make sure that future generations on this island would live in peace not by his words but by his actions and for that I am eternally grateful.
Martin McGuinness was buried in the town he loved so well last Thursday. Is mise Cllr Malachy Quinn Sinn Fein