06/10/2008

Martin McGuinness's Mother Dies - Aged 84

Tributes have been paid to the mother of Martin McGuinness (pictured) who died today, following a short illness.

Sinn Fein said 84-year-old Peggy McGuinness had died peacefully at her Londonderry home this morning.

Friends and Family are said to be comforting Mr McGuinness.

A spokesperson for the Deputy First Minister said he had spent the weekend at his mother's home, with other family members.

Mr McGuinness left only once, to make a speech at the Civil Rights commemoration held in Derry.

Sinn Fein MLAs Martina Anderson and Raymond McCartney issued a joint statement offering condolences on behalf of the party.

"Peggy was a stalwart and a great supporter of the republican cause and she will be sorely missed," said the MLAs.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan offered his his sincere condolences to her family.
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He said: "I am saddened to hear of the death of Peggy McGuinness.

"I offer sincere condolences to Martin McGuinness and Peggy's entire family at their sad loss."

Mr Durkan, who is also from Derry, said Mrs McGuinness was a very kindly woman with real charm.

Speaking to the BBC about her son's involvement in the political landscape of Northern Ireland, the late Mrs McGuinness said: "Any mother would worry who had a son involved in a political struggle. I worry all the time about his safety and about all the family."

Pre-deceased by her husband, William, Mrs McGuinness is survived by her children Thomas, Martin, Paul, Geraldine, William, Declan and John.

Her funeral will take place on Wednesday in St. Columba's Church, Longtower.

A native of Inishowen, Mrs McGuinness will be laid to rest in St. Mary's Cemetery, Cockhill, Buncrana, Co Donegal.

(PR/JM)

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