Northern Ireland news

Martin McGuinness's son speaks emotionally of late father

Former deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness's son, Fiachra (right) said the respect shown for his late father has helped the family through the last twelve months. Mr McGuinness was pictured with his brother, Emmett at the opening of a photographic exhibition dedicated to the Sinn Féin politician last year. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Seamus McKinney

Former deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness's son Fiachra has given a personal and poignant insight into how his family has coped with the death of his father.

Mr McGuinness (junior) said that his family has struggled with what has been a very tough twelve months since his father passed away on March 21 last year.

“I know Martin McGuinness meant a lot of things to different people but to us, first and foremost, he was a loving daddy, a granda, a brother, a husband," he said.

“He doted on his family and it leaves a huge hole when someone like that is lost and we miss him every day. We always will.”

As the first anniversary of the former deputy first minister's death approaches this week, his son spoke to The Derry Journal.

Thousands of people attended Mr McGuinness's wake and funeral from St Columba's church, Long Tower. Former US president, Bill Clinton delivered a moving tribute which was attended by current and past Irish presidents and Taoisigh as well as unionist leaders, including former first minister, Arlene Foster.

Fiachra McGuinness said the support shown for his late father was a source of great inspiration to his family.

“We have strength together and we have had unbelievable support from people across the world who had nothing but respect and admiration for my father and we are very thankful for that. It does help and it does give you the strength to keep going because we know that is what he would have wanted,” he said.

The McGuinness family took great pride from his father's political achievements, Mr McGuinness said.

He added that many people were wrong to believed that has his father not died, the current political impasse would have been overcome.

“I don't see how things would be different because it is not through a lack of leadership in Sinn Féin that there is still no executive in place. It is because of the DUP's failure to embrace the rights and equality that is needed for a power-sharing government to genuinely represent all of the people,” he said.

A number of events, including a walk in memory of Mr McGuinness, have been organised to mark the first anniversary of Mr McGuinness's death.

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