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'Ireland lost a hero. Derry lost a son' - Adams gives graveside oration for McGuinness

The funeral of the former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister took place in his native Derry this afternoon.

Gerry Adams delivers the graveside oration for Martin McGuinness flanked by Sinn Féin leader in the north Michelle O'Neill and Mary Lou McDonald.
Gerry Adams delivers the graveside oration for Martin McGuinness flanked by Sinn Féin leader in the north Michelle O'Neill and Mary Lou McDonald.

SINN FÉIN LEADER Gerry Adams has delivered the graveside oration for Martin McGuinness.

Speaking at the burial of the former Northern Deputy First Minister at Derry’s City Cemetery, Adams said that the city had “lost a son”.

The funeral of the former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister took place in his native Derry this afternoon.

Thousands lined the streets of the city hours before the funeral procession was due to leave McGuinness’s Bogside home.

Speakers included Bill Clinton and major political figures like former First Minister Peter Robinson and former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

This week, Ireland lost a hero. Derry lost a son.
Sinn Féin lost a leader and I lost a dear friend and a comrade, but Martin’s family has suffered the biggest loss of all.
They have lost a loving, caring, dedicated husband, father and grandfather, a brother and an uncle.
On behalf of Sinn Féin, on my own behalf and Colette and our family, and for you all, I extend our solidarity to all the McGuinness family.
I never thought I would be giving this oration today. Martin was looking forward so much to stepping back in May from public office. That wasn’t to be, but his was a life well lived.

Martin McGuinness funeral Source: Thomas McMullan/PA Images

The Louth TD said that Martin McGuinness was the epitome of all that is good in Republican ideology.

He exemplified all that is decent and fair about our republican ideology and our core values of freedom, equality and solidarity.
It is now over to us to take the struggle from where he has left it. Like Bobby Sands, he believed that our revenge should be the laughter of our children.
By his example, he showed us that it is possible to build peace out of conflict; to build a better and more equal future based on fairness, and to build unity out of division.
Martin will continue to inspire and encourage us in the time ahead. Martin believed that a better Ireland, a genuinely new Ireland is possible.

Adams said that rights were at the heart of the struggle of for Irish freedom and called on those in attendance to follow the example of McGuinness.

“Let me appeal also to nationalists and republicans; do nothing to disrespect our unionist neighbours or anyone else.

“Stand against bigotry. Stand against sectarianism. Respect our unionist neighbours. Reach out to them.

“Lead, as Martin led, by example.”

Read: ‘He expanded the definition of us’: Clinton’s tribute to McGuinness, as thousands pay respects

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