Saturday 29 April 2017

Movie star Jane Fonda paid surprise visit to Martin McGuinness during Troubles

Jane Fonda pictured earlier this year
Jane Fonda pictured earlier this year
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

During the height of the Northern Ireland Troubles, Martin McGuinness had an unusual supporter - Hollywood star Jane Fonda.

It was 1976 and the Oscar winner paid a surprise visit to the former IRA chief of staff's home in Derry's Bogside, a predominantly republican area of the city.

McGuinness once told RTE that he returned home from Sunday Mass to find the actress sitting in his kitchen with his wife and eldest child Aine.

Fonda and her then husband Tom Hayden had been visiting Ireland, and had travelled to Derry to see McGuinness.

The McGuinness family showed the famous couple around Bogside and then made them dinner.

"They stayed with us all day," McGuinness revealed.

He said it was clear the star had a real interest in the Troubles.

The pair became friends and several months later Fonda sent a large box of baby clothes on the birth of McGuinness's third child.

After her visit Fonda continued campaigning for elements of the Republican cause.

In 1981 she lobbied Margaret Thatcher to end the Northern Ireland hunger strikes.

She sent a telegram imploring the prime minister to reclassify all Irish republican inmates as political prisoners.

Fonda has appeared in films which have been box office successes and critically acclaimed, including Barefoot In The Park, Klute, The China Syndrome and On Golden Pond.

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