Irish America says goodbye to Martin McGuinness in New York

Digital staff
25 April, 2017 13:47

Hundreds of Americans joined members of Sinn Féin at a month's mind Mass for Martin McGuinness in St Patrick’s Cathedral New York City last night.

Among those present were Sinn Féin’s deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald, Irish Consul General Barbara Jones and film director Jim Sheridan.

Mary Lou McDonald read “A Time for Everything” from the Book of Ecclesiastes.

“A time to be born, a time to die… a time to kill and a time to heal… a time for war and a time for peace.”

Ms McDonald said that McGuinness’s life was touched by all those things.

Audio: Martin McGuinness' month's mind in New York homily

Senator George Mitchell gave the eulogy and reflected on first meeting Mr McGuinness 22 years ago when he travelled to Northern Ireland as then US President Bill Clinton’s representative.

The prime ministers and taoisigh who presided over the peace process deserved credit for the progress, he said.

Among those present were Sinn Féin’s deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald, Irish Consul General Barbara Jones and film director Jim Sheridan

“But as I have said often the real heroes of the Northern Ireland peace process were the people and the political leaders of Northern Ireland.”

Mr McGuinness was crucial to the Good Friday and other agreements, and in maintaining the peace that followed, he said.

"Martin had courage and he had vision." 

Speaking on the steps of St Patrick’s, Ms McDonald spoke of a man who left an "incredible mark on Irish history".

"He was a committed Republican, but he knew how to work with others", she said.  

She praised Irish America for its support of Sinn Féin. “Our friends in America have made a huge difference,” she said, “but we must not sit back, there is much to be done.”

Tom Beirne from the Ancient Order of Hibernians was one of those who organised the Mass which was attended by an aunt and cousin of Martin McGuinness' widow, Bernie.

He said the McGuinness family in Derry had been involved in preparations for the Mass including the music which was coordinated by Cathy Maguire.

"It was a fitting tribute to Martin McGuinness. The large crowd in the cathedral showed the high level of respect that Irish America had for Martin," he added.

Mr Beirne said a large crowd had gathered outside the cathedral where the NYPD pipe band was playing.

A month’s mind Mass will also be celebrated in Derry tomorrow evening.

Ms McDonald joined IrishCentral’s Founder Niall O’Dowd, Marty Glennon and Joseph Smith from Friends of Sinn Féin in a discussion on IrishCentral's Facebook page to discuss Martin McGuinness's legacy:

25 April, 2017 13:47 News

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