McGuinness praises 'republican' Fermanagh for Sands turning point
Published: 17 May 2012 13:002 comments
DEPUTY First Minister Martin McGuinness has said there is "no going back" to the old days.
The Sinn Fein politician and former IRA member believes anyone wanting to return to a time when death and destruction was so rife on our streets "is living in cloud cuckoo land".
Speaking as guest of honour at the £30-a-head Fermanagh Sinn Fein dinner dance at the Westville Hotel last Friday night, Mr. McGuinness said his party had spent 20 years "developing a peace process", adding: "There has already been change. There will be no going back. Equality rules, the orange state is gone, the power of the Orange Order is gone".
He also credited hunger striker Bobby Sands as his main inspiration for getting into politics.
"I was very young when the 1981 hunger strikes took place and it was a very brave decision by republicans to stand in a Westminister election, a by-election, and put forward a candidate who was a prisoner in Long Kesh.
"The people of Fermanagh and South Tyrone came out and supported Bobby Sands, which clearly showed huge sympathy for the republican struggle within the broad and nationalist communities," he said.
Mr. McGuinness added: "It is to the eternal credit of this republican county that the people of Fermanagh and South Tyrone stood by Bobby Sands and the prisoners in the H-Block at Long Kesh. That will always be remembered in Irish history as a turning point in the struggle."
He told the audience that he wouldn't have got into politics had it not been for Bobby Sands and the people of Fermanagh.
And he described Sinn Fein's success in recent years as "nothing short of spectacular".
"We have developed a strategy, and peace process, for 20 years. To have three candidates [Michelle Gildernew, Sean Lynch and Phil Flanagan] elected last year was amazing for us.
"When we canvassed here for Michelle Gildernew in 2010 the odds against her were considerable. Who would have been surprised if a Unionist [Unity Candidate Rodney Connor] had won that seat? But they didn't. We won the seat by four seats and the sceptics were confounded. That was an amazing victory and it showed the level of support that there is for republicanism in County Fermanagh," he said.
Commentscomments powered by Disqus
Get more stories from our Roundup section
18 Apr 2014 11:00 • Lily Dane
This image “Miss Derryclavin” Selected was featured in The Impartial Reporter on April 16, 1964.
18 Apr 2014 08:30
MOURNERS at the funeral of Brookeborough man Kenneth Andrews who died unexpectedly last week were told that the 47-year-old had been fighting a private battle with depression.
17 Apr 2014 18:06 • Rodney Edwards
A would-be politician seeking a seat in the new Fermanagh and Omagh Council for the Ulster Unionist Party has defended himself for a second time following comments he made on Facebook.
17 Apr 2014 17:01
Let me get the amateur sociology out of the way first: ‘Out-group homogeneity’. It describes a bias that any group of people are prone to have.
17 Apr 2014 16:30
The proposed Development Proposal to close both Enniskillen Collegiate School and Portora Royal School and open a new school on a split site, will go before the members of the Western Education and Library Board on May 8 for approval.
17 Apr 2014 15:57
THE Collegiate Grammar School’s consultation meeting on its proposed amalgamation with Portora Royal exposed the Western Education Library Board’s (WELB) “weak process and weak argument”, according to principal, Elizabeth Armstrong.
17 Apr 2014 15:14
PARENTS of Collegiate Grammar School have accused Western Education Library Board (WELB) officials of hiding their personal vested interest in a proposal that would see the school merge with Portora Royal next year.
17 Apr 2014 14:29 • Meadhbh Monahan
HOMEOWNERS in Enniskillen are “disgusted” with workmen who took hundreds of pounds for cleaning their driveways, but never finished the job.
17 Apr 2014 14:06
WORK on the long-awaited Southern by-pass of Enniskillen could start in four years’ time but only if the millions needed for the scheme can be found, Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy has said.
17 Apr 2014 13:11
Fermanagh District Council is unlikely to hold a fracking referendum after legal advice has recommended against it.
17 Apr 2014 13:01
A 47-year-old woman has been convicted of sexually assaulting a young man after she allegedly “forced” herself on him, grabbing him by the bum and telling him she loved him.
17 Apr 2014 11:45
A 42-year-old driver who failed to stop after crashing into a car on a bridge on St. Patrick’s Day was three times the legal alcohol limit.
17 Apr 2014 10:00 • Editorial Department
Clerics attend Queen’s banquet: Praise for their cross-community work
17 Apr 2014 09:48
Fermanagh Premier Milk Cup manager Derek Sharpe has named his 18 man squad for this summer's competition.
17 Apr 2014 09:15
THE two men arrested in connection with a security alert in Fintona on Tuesday this week have been charged with Theft and Going Equipped for Theft
17 Apr 2014 09:00
A local pupil has been named a finalist in this year's Fine Dine at Mine All-Ireland Schools Cookery Competion.
16 Apr 2014 22:30 • Editorial Department
How a woman has been convicted of sexually assaulting a man after touching him and trying to give him a love bite.
16 Apr 2014 19:30
A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a 33-year-old convicted shoplifter.
16 Apr 2014 17:00
The 32-year-old driver of a car from which there was a strong smell of cannabis has admitted unlawfully having the Class B drug.