Northern Ireland news

Tour guides report huge interest in Martin McGuinness sites

St Columba's Church, Long Tower in Derry
Seamus McKinney

TOUR companies in Derry have reported huge interest in anything to do with Martin McGuinness.

Guides say visitors are asking to see Mr McGuinness’s grave at Derry city cemetery as well as several other sites associated with the former deputy first minister.

These include St Columba’s Church, Long Tower where his funeral took place as well as the area of the Bogside where he lived.

Charlene McCrossan of City Tours said many people ask for directions to Mr McGuinness’s final resting place.

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“It is something that we’re getting more and more on our tours. People ask to see the Long Tower chapel because they know that’s where his funeral took place from," she said.

“As well as that, when we’re taking groups around the walls, when we get to the part overlooking the Bogside, more and more people as us to point out where Martin McGuinness lived."

Seamus Breslin, who conducts tours of the cemetery through the Friends of Derry City Cemetery organisation, also said the number of tourists coming to the city specifically to visit Mr McGuinness’s grave is increasing steadily.

“It’s like Michael Collins's grave down in Glasnevin, it’s one of the must-see graves on the tour of the city cemetery now.

“I show people where it is. Some of them ask me if it’s okay to take a photograph of the grave and others just want to pay their respects."

While not directly linked to Mr McGuinness’s life or death, Derry’s major Troubles sites have recently also been included on a new tour by upmarket tourism company Andante Travels.

The English-based firm, which specialises in places of historic and cultural interest, intends conducting a tour in September which includes a visit to “modern urban battlefields in Derry.”

A spokeswoman for the company told The Irish News interest in the tour had already exceeded its expectations.

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