Mary Lou McDonald: We can build an equal Ireland with grit and graciousness of Martin McGuinness

Martin McGuinness.
Martin McGuinness.
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Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald has said that republicans will strive to build a United Ireland with the "grit and graciousness" of Martin McGuinness

Speaking at the annual Easter commemorations in Derry, during which a new headstone for the late Mr. McGuinness was unveiled, she said: "The only fitting tribute to his great leadership is for us to lead on, to mobilise, to organise, to take a chance, to stretch ourselves and to match our dreams with ambition.

"We can live in a united, free Ireland. We can live in a socially just, equal Ireland.

"I believe we will. Martin believed we would. We will prove him right.

"We promise to meet the challenges of our time with the grit and graciousness that were the mark of our Martin."

She said republicans needed to prepare for Irish reunification now and that an honest conversation about a new Ireland should take place.

She said: "Ireland is in a time of great challenge and change.

“We need to prepare for Irish reunification now. We need a debate, honest conversations about a new Ireland.

“We need to listen, to understand, to accommodate all of our people, in all our diversity in the new Ireland.

“An Ireland that is Orange and Green, black and white, settled and traveller, Gay and straight.

“An Ireland that protects the many and not just the privileged few.

“An Ireland that remembers and celebrates the past – the history made at the General Post Office in Dublin or on the banks of the Boyne - an Ireland that courageously, fearlessly faces the future.

“Our strength is in unity, in making common cause with everyone who believes in a new political order in Ireland, grounded in equality."