“We have to govern by treating every single citizen equally” reads the tombstone.
Source: Dean McLaughlin, BBC News.
HUGE CROWDS TURNED out in Derry yesterday for the unveiling of Martin McGuinness’ gravestone.
Joined by McGuinness’ family, Sinn Féin’s deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald described it as an “emotional” day.
The former Northern Ireland deputy First Leader died on 21 March aged 66.
Suffering from ill-health McGuinness had resigned from his role in early January over the ’cash for ash’ scandal.
Thousands lined the streets of the city for his funeral procession from McGuinness’s Bogside home.
Major political figures like former First Minister Peter Robinson and former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern attended the ceremony, while the former US President Bill Clinton delivered the eulogy.
According to The Irish News a crowd of several thousand people attended yesterday’s annual Derry Sinn Féin Easter commemoration at which the headstone was unveiled.
There were claps and cheers as the purple covering was pulled back to reveal the tombstone. McGuinness’ son, Emmett, also carried a photograph of his father.
The dedication on the Celtic cross gravestone reads: “In Proud and Loving Memory of Óglach Martin McGuinness, Óglaigh na hÉireann, MP, MLA, Minister, Died 21st March 2017.”
A quotation from the former deputy first minister features at the bottom of the gravestone: “We have to govern by treating every single citizen equally.”
It also has the message: “Forever Loved, Bernie (McGuinness’ wife), children and grandchildren.”
The footstone on the grave states: “I love you with my whole heart and soul.”
Laying a wreath in the cemetery, McDonald said McGuinness “lead from the front, he took risks for freedom and risks to build the peace”.
McDonald said she wanted to make McGuinness’ dreams become a reality in Ireland, stating:
We can live in a united, free Ireland. We can live in a socially just, equal Ireland. I believe we will. Martin believed we would. We will prove him right.
The sentiment comes as Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams states that Irish unity “makes sense”. He said his party is interested in establishing a Dáil committee on Irish unity.
“This could bring forward proposals for what a United Ireland might look like, and how the Irish state needs to plan for reunification across all areas of the economy and society.
“There is also a need to discuss a referendum on Irish unity as set out in the Good Friday Agreement – a need to agree on how this can be held and how it will be won. Of course that will require the support of other parties and independents in Leinster House and Sinn Féin looks forward to discussing this with everyone there. We will also continue our endeavours to persuade unionism of the merits of an agreed Ireland,” said Adams.