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Martin McGuinness's mother Peggy dies aged 84

Peggy McGuinness, the mother of Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, has died at her home in Derry at the age of 84.

Peggy McGuinness died at 7am at her home on Elmwood Street after a short illness.

A Sinn Fein spokesman said that Mr McGuinness had spent the weekend at his mother’s home with other family members, leaving only to make a speech at the Civil Rights commemoration held in Derry.

In a joint statement, Sinn Fein MLAs Martina Anderson and Raymond McCartney today offered condolences on behalf of the party.

They said: “Peggy was a stalwart and a great supporter of the republican cause and she will be sorely missed.”

Mrs McGuinness once told the BBC’s Real Lives programme how she worried about her son. “Any mother would worry who had a son involved in a political struggle. I worry all the time about his safety and about all the family,” she said.

A photograph of Mr McGuinness, his mother and grandchildren on Derry’s Walls recently featured in an exhibition, The Northern Ireland Family, which was commissioned by Help the Aged to mark 21 years of work with the elderly in Northern Ireland.

A book, entitled The Northern Ireland Family Album, accompanied the exhibition.

Her culinary talents made headlines last year, when outgoing Assistant Chief Constable Peter Sheridan told an amusing anecdote about tasting her cooking while visiting the home of Derry writer, Nell McCafferty, two years earlier.

He said Ms McCafferty gave him a bowl of soup, that she said was made by Peggy McGuinness.

Two days later, Mr Sheridan was in Downing Street with Tony Blair for the first official meeting between Sinn Fein and the PSNI.

As everybody shook hands on the way out, he said to Martin McGuinness: “Your mother makes good soup.”

Mr Sheridan said later: “He looked surprised. 'Where did you taste my mother's soup?' he asked. 'Come back to the next meeting and I'll tell you!' I said."

SDLP leader Mark Durkan, who is also from Derry, says he has offered his sincere condolences to her family.

“I am saddened to hear of the death of Peggy McGuinness. She was a very kindly woman with real charm," he said.

“I offer sincere condolences to Martin McGuinness and Peggy’s entire family at their sad loss.”

Mr Durkan said Mrs McGuinness was a very kindly woman with real charm.

Mrs McGuinness's funeral will be held on Wednesday at 11.15am in St. Columba's Church, Longtower.

She will be laid to rest in St. Mary's Cemetery, Cockhill, Buncrana, Co. Donegal.


From Belfast Telegraph