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Dublin: 9 °C Sunday 5 April, 2020

'He goes to his grave having shown no remorse': Criticisms in Stormont on McGuinness's legacy

DUP leader Arlene Foster had somewhat kinder words for her former deputy minister.

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WHILE PEOPLE CONTINUED to pay their respects today to Martin McGuinness, in Stormont a unionist politician drew attention to his violent past.

Jim Allister of the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) said during a special sitting of the Northern Ireland Assembly, that every death brings grief and sorrow to the family and friends.

Despite this, he believed that McGuinness’s death was different, as ”he himself bears responsibility for many violent and needless deaths in our community”.

As an IRA terrorist and commander, his hands drip with the blood of the innocent.
He goes to his grave having shown no remorse, no regret, no apology for the terror he brought to our streets, rather continuing to justify that bloodthirsty wickedness that was the IRA campaign.

He went on to compare McGuinness’s death to the murder of Constable Clive Graham in 1988, who died on 21 March – the same date as McGuinness. He said Graham was shot at a checkpoint by the IRA, and “never got the chance to live to 66″.

“So, today my primary thoughts are with the many victims of the IRA who never reached the age of 66… of children stolen from their parents and grandparents by the organisation in which McGuinness was a commander.”

Foster’s softer approach

Martin McGuinness death First Minister Arlene Foster signs a book of condolences for Martin McGuinness, as Sinn Fein leader Michelle O'Neill looks on. Source: David Young/PA Images

DUP leader Arlene Foster, who gave a measured response to McGuinness’s death yesterday, was more emotive today, saying it was doubtful Northern Ireland would “ever see his like again”.

“…I do recognise also that there are many republicans and nationalists who look to Martin as a leader, friend or mentor who will be feeling a very real sense of loss that he has died in this way at the relatively young age of 66.”

She ended her remarks by quoting McGuinness’s favourite poet, Seamus Heaney.

“So hope for a great sea-change/ On the far side of revenge./ Believe that further shore/ Is reachable from here.”

The former first minister is undecided as to whether she will attend McGuinness’s funeral, which will be held tomorrow at 2pm in Saint Columba’s Church in Derry City.

According to RTÉ News, former US President Bill Clinton, and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who worked with McGuinness to bring peace to Northern Ireland, will attend his funeral tomorrow.

Read: Large crowds turn out in Derry, Dublin and Belfast to remember Martin McGuinness

Read: Some British newspapers had a different perspective on the death of Martin McGuinness

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