Friday 28 April 2017

Analysis: Now we await the next tier of Sinn Féin 'visionaries'

Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill, Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald speak at Derry City Cemetery after the funeral service of Martin McGuinness. Photo: PA
Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill, Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald speak at Derry City Cemetery after the funeral service of Martin McGuinness. Photo: PA
John Downing

John Downing

Irish people do funerals better than many a nationality. And the final parting with Martin McGuinness was exemplary. The haunting Irish language refrains of Peadar Ó Riada's Cór Chúil Aodha, from Gaeltacht Mhúscraí, which is almost as far south from Derry as you can go, melted hearts.

The spontaneously generous ovation by mourners greeting the arrival of Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster bore much potential for healing. Could they have been saying: we know you suffered - just like us?

It is beyond doubt that the warm-hearted people of Derry knew that Mrs Foster must have felt unsure entering a Catholic and nationalist citadel on a day which was dedicated to the "other crowd". They may have imagined entering an Orange Lodge on the evening of July 12.

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