Minister Flanagan Statement on Martin McGuinness19/1/17
Minister Flanagan Statement on Martin McGuinness
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade has reacted to the announcement by Martin McGuinness this evening that he will not be contesting the forthcoming Assembly elections.
“The decision of Martin McGuinness not to contest the forthcoming election to the Northern Ireland Assembly will be received by many with an equal measure of understanding and disappointment. While those of us who have worked directly with Martin will wish him and his family well for the future, we will also miss his positive contribution to political discourse on this island.
“During his tenures as Minister for Education and deputy First Minister, Martin was unstinting in his personal efforts to secure the stability of the power-sharing institutions in Northern Ireland and to advance reconciliation between the unionist and nationalist communities. As the holder of a joint office, he fully recognised that his duty was to represent all of the people of Northern Ireland. Through word and deed, Martin sought to reach out to those who – for understandable reasons – would have regarded his past with fear, anger and suspicion.
“Martin and I come from very different, and indeed mutually critical, political traditions. Yet, in the two and a half years that I worked directly with Martin, I experienced a political leader who was determined to make the future of Northern Ireland, and its people, so much better than it’s past. I hope that Martin’s political legacy – of a resilient and generous commitment to the interlocking institutions of the Good Friday Agreement – will encourage all of Northern Ireland’s political parties to emulate his efforts to consolidate partnership government.
“I wish Martin and his family every happiness for the future.”
19 January 2017