The Anglican leaders of the Church in Ireland have issued statements on the death of Martin McGuinness, the ex – IRA leader turned politician who has died aged 66.
Martin McGuinness worked at the heart of the power-sharing government following the 1998 peace settlement. He went on to become deputy first minister of Northern Ireland for a decade from 2007, working initially alongside his former bitter foe, Protestant politician, Ian Paisley.
Statement from the Most Revd Dr Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland:
I express my sincere sympathy to Martin McGuinness’s wife, family and friends on the news of his death.
Martin McGuinness’s adult life was in so many ways one of two very distinct halves, and most of us have great difficulty in connecting the two. That having been said (and it must be said), while recognising the hurt, fear and misery brought into hundreds of other lives in the first part of that life, we should also convey proper appreciation of the immense statesmanlike qualities that Martin McGuinness brought into the political life of Northern Ireland in recent years. He displayed both real courage and a genuine openness to those of different political viewpoints from his own.
Statement from the Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson:
“I wish to express my sympathy on the death of Martin McGuinness to all members of his family and to those who hold him dear. I do so in recognition of his contribution to peace and to reconciliation as an integral part of the process of politics. Over a sustained period he committed himself in partnership with others to building a platform of peace in a broken world. Reconciliation changes individuals and it changes lives because at its heart it is transformative of inherited and accumulated caricatures and wrongdoings. It is one of the signs of the Kingdom of God in our midst. God calls all to work for the furtherance of the Kingdom regardless of our human frailty. I further wish to recognise the courage he showed in enduring a most debilitating illness in the last months and to pray for comfort for his wife and family at this time.”