Gerry Adams and Michelle O'Neill carry Martin McGuinness' coffin amid applause on Derry streets

Gerry Adams and Michelle O'Neill carry Martin McGuinness' coffin amid applause on Derry streets

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams and the leader of the party in the North, Michelle O'Neill, have helped to carry the coffin of Northern Ireland former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness to his home in Derry.

The 66-year-old Sinn Féin veteran, who was diagnosed with a rare heart condition at the end of last year, died in hospital overnight in his home city surrounded by family members.

The former deputy first minister's wife Bernie bore him past the Free Derry Corner.

His two sons, Fiachra and Emmett, shouldered his remains into his house.

Mourner Carmel McConlogue said: "I came to pay my respects to a gentleman of our town and our city - he was a legend.

"He really helped everyone in his community, a very humble, passionate man.

"He lived through The Troubles and we have peace today thanks to Martin."

Mr Adams had earlier visited Mr McGuinness's family in the Bogside, where he spent more than an hour.

The coffin of Northern Ireland's former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness is carried to his home in Derry.
The coffin of Northern Ireland's former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness is carried to his home in Derry.

The Sinn Féin President said his lifelong friend had been a "passionate republican who worked tirelessly for peace and reconciliation and for the reunification of his country".

He added: "Throughout his life, Martin showed great determination, dignity and humility and it was no different during his short illness."

Crowds braved snow and sleet in Derry to accompany his coffin, draped in a Tricolour, from the funeral parlour to his home in the Bogside.

One well-wisher said: "He was a hero."

The coffin of Northern Ireland's former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness is carried to his home in Derry by Gerry Adams, Raymond McCartney and Michelle O'Neill today.
The coffin of Northern Ireland's former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness is carried to his home in Derry by Gerry Adams, Raymond McCartney and Michelle O'Neill today.

In a short but emotional statement, Mr Adams revealed he last spoke to Mr McGuinness last week before he travelled to the US to pass on best wishes from people and update him on powersharing talks in Belfast.

"Martin, as we all know, was a very passionate Irish republican. He believed in our people - that people of this island should be free. He believed in reconciliation. He worked very, very hard at all of that," Mr Adams said.

"We are very, very sad that we lost him overnight."

Gerry Adams and Michelle O'Neill carry Martin McGuinness' coffin amid applause on Derry streets

Afterwards he joined Ms O'Neill, Mr McGuinness's successor at the head of Sinn Féin in Stormont, to speak publicly about their friend and colleague.

"He was an international statesman. He was a man that was recognised as a peacemaker and a man that touched the lives of so many people," Ms O'Neill said.

"I've known him since I was a child but I'm honoured to have worked alongside him for 20 years.

"He inspired me and he inspired many others in his commitment to the republican struggle and he led from the front down through the decades.

Gerry Adams and Michelle O'Neill carry Martin McGuinness' coffin amid applause on Derry streets

"Martin set the bar very high. He set the bar very high in his style of leadership. He stepped outside his comfort zone time and time again because he knew it was the right thing to do."

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