Belfast Telegraph

Martin McGuinness' sons to attend Washington memorial mass

By Claire Williamson

The sons of the late Martin McGuinness are set to attend a memorial mass in Washington later on Tuesday in memory of the veteran Sinn Fein politician.

Mr McGuinness died at the age of 66 in March following a short battle with illness.

His sons, Fiachra and Emmett McGuinness, along with Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams will attend the memorial service at St Peter's Catholic Church on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday.

It has been organised by US Congressman Richie Neal who was a friend of Mr McGuinness for 25 years and leader of the Friends of Ireland in Congress group.

In April a memorial was held in New York at St Patrick's Cathedral.

Mr Adams is already in Washington for several days of meetings with political leaders.

Ahead of his trip he said: "My meetings this week will allow me the opportunity to update Irish America, the State Department and Capitol Hill on recent developments in the political process, the failure to reach agreement at the start of this month and the widely held concerns across the island about the damaging consequences of Brexit.

"These have been heightened in recent days following a week of confusing Brexit negotiations between the EU and the British Government which suggest that the Tories are ill-prepared for Brexit, have no clear plan and have little concern about the impact of a hard economic border on the island of Ireland.

"I will also tell Irish America and Congressional leaders that Sinn Fein is totally committed to the restoration of the political institutions, but that this can only be achieved on the basis of equality and respect, and the implementation of outstanding commitments arising from the Good Friday and subsequent agreements."

Northern Ireland Secretary of State James Brokenshire is also on Capitol Hill discussing the political crisis here but will not be attending the service, the BBC reports.

Speaking ahead of the trip, Mr Brokenshire said: "Regrettably my visit takes place against a backdrop of political stalemate in Northern Ireland, but this is a timely opportunity to brief members of the US administration, who throughout history have done so much to support our efforts in moving forward the political process on the current situation.

"I also want to reassure them that the UK Government is determined to see devolved, power-sharing government restored."

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