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Exhibition casts new light on life of Martin McGuinness

A photograph of Martin McGuinness and his wife Bernie in relaxed mood at Mount Errigal in Donegal. Picture by McGuinness Family Collection / McLaughlin
Seamus McKinney

A PHOTOGRAPHIC exhibition which opens today in Derry casts new light on the personal life of the late Martin McGuinness.

Part of the Gasyard Féile, the exhibition will feature many previously unseen photographs from the McGuinness family’s private collection.

The former Sinn Féin deputy first minister died in March after a short illness.

Curated by the McGuinness family, “Martin: A Photographic Exhibition” was opened by his long-time friend, neighbour and former Stormont speaker Mitchel McLaughlin at the Gasyard Centre this afternoon.

Sadhbh McGuinness (2), granddaughter of the late Martin McGuinness, watches as Mitchel McLaughlin addresses the official opening of the exhibition 'Martin' at the Gasyard centre in Derry's Bogside 

The McGuinness family issued a general invitation to the public to attend the event.

In a statement released last night, the family said: “Martin was recognised all over the world, regularly pictured alongside international leaders and was one of the most photographed people in Ireland.

“Many aspects of his life were lived in the public eye and were captured and chronicled by the media. But to us he was a husband, father, grandfather and brother who lived for his family.”

Many of the pictures feature the former IRA leader leader's public and political life. However, there are also photographs of the Sinn Féin politician as a child, on his wedding day and with his wife, Bernie, and family and pictures taken in more recent times.

Emmett and Fiachra McGuinness attending the official opening of the exhibition for their late father Martin McGuinness at the Gasyard centre in Derry's Bogside 

One photograph shows the late Mr McGuinness in relaxed mood with his wife Bernie at the foot of Mount Errigal in west Donegal.

The family said they chose photographs which showed Mr McGuinness’s “remarkable life.”

They said: “All show his warmth, spirit, humour, dedication to his beliefs and love for his family.”

Sadhbh McGuinness (2), granddaughter of the late Martin McGuinness, watches as Mitchel McLaughlin addresses the official opening of the exhibition 'Martin' at the Gasyard centre in Derry's Bogside 

A spokesman for the Gasyard Féile thanked the McGuinness family for sharing photographs from their private collection.

“Martin McGuinness was a proud supporter of the Gasyard Féile from the start and it is fantastic to have the McGuinness family curating this exhibition of truly historic photos,” he said.

The exhibition runs until August 15.

A photograph of Martin McGuinness and his wife Bernie below Mount Errigal in Donegal is put on the wall at the Gasyard Centre as part of the exhibition from the McGuinness Family Collection. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

Former Deputy First Minster Martin McGuiness speaking to the media at Stormont Buildings, during appointment of Michelle O'Neill who will become the Sinn Fein's Stormont Leader. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday January 23, 2017. Martin McGuinness stepped away from the political stage, citing his health problems, shortly after a bitter rift between the major parties triggered the collapse of the powersharing executive in Belfast. See PA story ULSTER Politics. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire.

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