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Arlene Foster should go to Martin McGuinness' funeral, says IRA victim's sister Ann Travers

DUP leader 'undecided' on attendance

By Jonny Bell

Arlene Foster should go to Martin McGuinness' funeral, the sister of an IRA victim has said.

No decision has yet been made as to if Arlene Foster will attend Martin McGuinness' funeral on Thursday.

Requiem Mass will be held at St Columba's Long Tower Chapel in Derry at 2pm. Mr McGuinness will make the final journey from his home to the church at 1.20pm.

The BBC Stephen Nolan show has reported that Mrs Foster is "undecided" as to if she will attend the former deputy First Minister's funeral.

However, Ann Travers, whose sister Mary was killed by the IRA said the DUP leader should attend.

"She worked with him and is a political leader, as an IRA victims sister and daughter I understand that," she tweeted.

Mary Travers was shot dead by the IRA in south Belfast on April 8, 1984, as she walked home from Mass with her father, Thomas, a judge who was the intended victim.

Mrs Foster and Mr McGuinness were the only two ministers to serve continuously in the Executive for the past 10 years and held the first ministers' office together for a year until the veteran republican's resignation pulled down the institutions.

The former Deputy First Minister died at Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry surrounded by his family in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The 66-year-old had been suffering from a rare heart condition.

Hundreds of people accompanied the coffin, draped in the Irish tricolour, as it was carried through the streets of his home city yesterday afternoon.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said her thoughts were with the McGuinness family, including his wife and four children following news of the death.

She said she would pay her respects to Mr McGuinness in the "appropriate way".

The Fermanagh MLA added: "History will record differing views and opinions on the role Martin McGuinness played throughout the recent and not so recent past but history will also show that his contribution to the political and peace process was significant.

"He served the people of Northern Ireland as deputy First Minister for nearly a decade and was pivotal in bringing the republican movement towards a position of using peaceful and democratic means.

"In recent years his contribution helped build the relative peace we now enjoy."

The DUP has been asked for a comment.

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