Martin McGuinness, the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland and a former Irish Republican Army commander and Sinn Fein political leader, died on Tuesday in Derry. He was 66. His life was dedicated to helping negotiate peace in Northern Ireland after decades of sectarian violence.
NECO was privileged to recognize Mr. McGuinness’ peace efforts and those of his fellow Northern Ireland leaders, First Minister Peter Robinson and Mr. Robinson’s predecessor, the legendary Rev. Ian Paisley, The Lord Bannside. Sadly, the Rev. Paisley passed in 2014. The private ceremony was held September 27, 2013 in Hillsborough Castle, the Queen’s residence just outside Belfast.
On the passing of another great Northern Irish leader, we reflect on their commitment to peace and equality for all citizens of the UK. From two strongly opposed political sides, these men came together in peace and unity, and ultimately led an entire nation out from a very dark period, to one of peace and prosperity for all of its citizens. NECO is honored to have had the opportunity to befriend such a great man. His graciousness and humor will be missed by NECO and an entire nation.
Above photo, L to R: Martin McGuinness, NECO Chairman Nasser J. Kazeminy and First Minister Peter Robinson. 2013 Hillsbrorough Castle