Northern Ireland news

Martin McGuinness's love of fishing to be commemorated

The late deputy first minister had a great love for County Donegal and fly-fishing. Picture: Hugh Russell
Seamus McKinney

Former deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness's love of County Donegal and fishing is to be commemorated in a new competition organised in his memory.

The inaugural Martin McGuinness fishing competition will take place in Inishowen later this month. Organised through Derry's Gasyard Féile, the fly-fishing competition will take place at the Eddie Fullerton Dam, north of Buncrana, on Sunday September 23.

Mr McGuinness, who died after a short illness in March last year, was an avid fly-fisherman and often extolled the beauty of County Donegal and Inishowen, the birthplace of his parents.

The former Sinn Féin vice-president once composed a poem about Fullerton's Dam which is named after Sinn Féin councillor, Eddie Fullerton who was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries in 1991.

In the verse, he praised the “purple heathered hillsides” and peaty bogs surrounding the huge reservoir.

Manager of the Gasyard Féile, Gareth Stewart said the competition would be strictly for fly-fishing.

“Martin was renowned for his life of fly fishing; he regularly wrote about it and beautiful Donegal," he said.

“We chose the Eddie Fullerton Dam as Martin was first a conservationist in terms of Ireland's wild trout and salmon rivers. He had a massive affinity and family ties in the Illies (near the reservoir), and he also had a very close friendship to Eddie Fullerton.”

Numbers taking part in the competition will be limited and organisers have urged anyone interested in competing to contact them by email at feilederry@gmail.com or by phone on 71 262812.

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