Sunday 30 April 2017

He walked two different roads but it's the path of peace for which he will be remembered

Martin McGuinness presents Michelle O’Neill, his successor as Sinn Féin leader in the North, with some flowers on her appointment in January. Photo: PA
Martin McGuinness presents Michelle O’Neill, his successor as Sinn Féin leader in the North, with some flowers on her appointment in January. Photo: PA
Mandy Johnston

Mandy Johnston

Tomorrow, the Bogside boy will make his final journey to the Creggan Cemetery through the narrow streets of the town he loved so well. These were the streets where his experience as a republican began.

Transformed by his surroundings, Martin McGuinness became a ruthlessly focused, lethally angry IRA activist. The streets of Derry set the direction of his life, because on these streets conflict loomed. Conflict those of us who live in the luxury of peace south of the Border can only imagine.

Because of the journey taken by Mr McGuinness and others who fought a path to peace, children of future generations will never have to learn of the horrors of conflict first hand as he did. They will learn of it only through history books.

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