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Minister Flanagan expresses sorrow at death of Martin McGuinness


On learning of the death today of Martin McGuinness, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan T.D., said:

"It was with great sorrow I learnt of Martin’s passing. My deepest sympathies are with his wife Bernie and his family at this very sad time.

Martin and I come from very different political traditions. However, in his embrace of the politics of peace, he made an immense personal contribution to building and consolidating peace on this island. His own personal journey from militant republicanism to deputy First Minister in a power-sharing administration with unionism helped to map the road to the Good Friday Agreement and its vision of partnership and reconciliation.

In the past three years, I had the opportunity to work closely with Martin McGuinness and saw at first hand his many qualities. Martin’s generosity of spirit; his courageous leadership; and his ability to stretch himself in the pursuit of political stability inspired many others to do the same. He led with patience, with courtesy, and with a willingness to see and acknowledge the goodwill in others – even if those people were far removed from his own republican tradition.

As deputy First Minister, Martin displayed great courage and leadership, especially in undertaking gestures of respect and reconciliation which reached across community lines. He did so despite being exposed to political criticism and personal risk. This legacy of leadership will no doubt inspire the next generation of leaders in Northern Ireland.

Martin was deeply rooted in Derry, with great affection for its people, its places and its sporting traditions. But above all it was his family that was at the centre of Martin’s life. For Bernie, his children and grandchildren, Martin’s untimely loss is very difficult to bear and they are in all our thoughts at this very sad time.

Go raibh maith agat, a Mháirtín. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam."

Press Office
21st March