‘He stretched himself and the republican base for peace’

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The new Martin McGuinness Peace Foundation will champion the values of unity, peace and community empowerment promoted by the Derry Sinn Féin and IRA leader throughout his life.

That’s according to Foyle election candidate Elisha McCallion who briefed party members on the new trust at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis.

“It is only right and fitting that I take this opportunity to let you know that Martin’s family and friends, in conjunction with the Gasyard Wall Féile have established the Martin Mc Guinness Peace Foundation. We all knew Martin as a leader, a political activist, an international statesman and a friend.

“The Foundation will focus on Martin’s memory and legacy, which spans so many aspects of his life,” she said.

Mrs. McCallion told delegates that during his tenure as Minister for Education between 1999 and 2002 he had wanted to see all young people achieve their full potential.

“In particular he wanted to ensure that those most disadvantaged had the best start in life,” she said.

The late Mr. McGuinness stood down as Education Minister when the power-sharing Executive was suspended in 2002.

However, he later served as Deputy First Minister for ten years once the institutions were restored after the St. Andrews Agreement in 2007.

“As a leader and political activist, he fought his entire life for the principles of equality and respect.

“He stretched himself and the republican base in seeking to build a new relationship with unionism.

“He sought to build reconciliation between the different sections of our community.

“Having been central to peace building here he shared his knowledge and experiences with others seeking to follow that path, whether that was in Columbia, Sri Lanka, Iraq or the Basque Country,” said Mrs. McCallion.

She said the Foundation will promote Mr. McGuinness’ progressive ideas of “reconciliation, unity and peace; social and economic change; and community empowerment.”