Sad passing of Mickey McGuinness

The late Mickey McGuinness.
The late Mickey McGuinness.
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Local historian and broadcaster Mickey McGuinness has passed away after a short illness.

Mickey died at the Foyle Hospice in the early hours of Thursday morning. He was aged 78.

A devoted family man, Mr McGuinness’s wife Detta and all of his eight children were with him when he died.

Mr McGuinness had edited, written and contributed to many local publications, including ‘Creggan: More than a History’ and ‘City of Music: Derry’s Music Heritage’.

A gifted story-teller, he had also penned countless historical articles for the media and was, until his death, chairman of Guildhall Press publishers.

A successful footballer with Sligo and Derry Celtic, Mr McGuinness was also an accomplished singer from a musical family. He was also

one of the leading lights of the Christian Brothers’ Choir.

Mr McGuinness, who was originally from Phillip Street, had spent almost 20 years working as an engineer in the BSR factory in Creggan and Du Pont before returning to education at the University of Ulster in the late 1970s. He then enjoyed a second career running the Derry Community History & Heritage Project.

Paul Hippsley, of Guildhall Press, was among those who paid tribute to him today.

“We are deeply saddened at the loss of Michael who was not only a trusted and respected work colleague but a truly loved and admired friend of us all. He will live long with us all as a true gentleman, loyal friend and wonderful inspiration.”

Foyle MP Mark Durkan described Mr. McGuinness as a “proud son of Derry.”

He added: “Mickey McGuinness was a man of constant cheer with a heart as warm as his smile. He was a really proud Derry man with a profound love for the city, its history, hinterland and culture.”

Mr. McGuinness’ funeral takes place on Saturday morning at St Patrick’s Church, Pennyburn, at 10 a.m