Tuesday 21 November 2017

Watch Bill Clinton deliver passionate eulogy at Martin McGuinness's funeral

Former US President Bill Clinton speaks during the funeral of Northern Ireland's former deputy first minister and ex-IRA commander Martin McGuinness at St Columba's Church Long Tower, in Londonderry.
Former US President Bill Clinton speaks during the funeral of Northern Ireland's former deputy first minister and ex-IRA commander Martin McGuinness at St Columba's Church Long Tower, in Londonderry.

By Nilima Marshall

He urged the leaders to finish the peace building process of the veteran Sinn Fein figure.

Former US president Bill Clinton paid tribute to Martin McGuinness as thousands thronged the streets of Londonderry’s Bogside to pay their respects to the veteran Sinn Fein figure.

Looking down on a coffin draped in an Irish tricolour at St Columba’s Church, the former US president, who was central to the Good Friday Agreement negotiations, implored the leaders to pick up where McGuinness left off.

“He persevered and he prevailed. He risked the wrath of his comrades and the rejection of his adversaries,” Clinton said.

“He made honourable compromises and was strong enough to keep them and came to be trusted because his word was good.”

He added: “Our friend earned this vast crowd today. Even more, he earned the right to ask us to honour his legacy by our living. To finish the work that is there to be done.”

Clinton spoke briefly with the McGuinness family after his passionate eulogy and touched the coffin as he walked by.

Also attending the funeral were ex-Democratic Unionist Stormont first ministers Peter Robinson and Arlene Foster, Irish President Michael D Higgins and his predecessor Mary McAleese, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and former taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

McGuinness died on Tuesday from a rare heart condition aged 66.

Press Association

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