Belfast Telegraph

We can't ignore facts, says Martin McGuinness son after Arlene Foster refuses to be drawn on his role in bringing Open to Portrush

Peter Unsworth (Chairman of The R&A Championship Committee), Peter Dawson (R&A Chief Executive), Simon Rankin Captain, Royal Portrush Golf Club, First Minister the Rt. Hon. Peter D Robinson MLA, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA, Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Arlene Foster with the Open Championship trophy at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 16, 2014 in Portrush, Northern Ireland
Peter Unsworth (Chairman of The R&A Championship Committee), Peter Dawson (R&A Chief Executive), Simon Rankin Captain, Royal Portrush Golf Club, First Minister the Rt. Hon. Peter D Robinson MLA, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA, Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Arlene Foster with the Open Championship trophy at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 16, 2014 in Portrush, Northern Ireland
Then First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness with Darren Clarke and Royal and Ancient’s Martin Slumbers and Peter Unsworth at the announcement in October 2015 that The Open is to be held at Royal Portrush in 2019
Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

The son of Martin McGuinness said facts can not be ignored and everyone played their part in bringing The Open to Northern Ireland.

Fiachra McGuinness made the comments after DUP leader Arlene Foster refused to be drawn on the contribution his late father made in bringing the championship to Royal Portrush.

Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson accused Mrs Foster of being "incapable" of acknowledging the role the former deputy First Minister played in securing the event.

Referring to a DUP tweet which included a picture of Mrs Foster at a press conference to announce the Open and which did not include Martin McGuinness although he was there, Foyle MP Elisha McCallion said it was "bitterly disappointing [Arlene Foster] unvalued his hard work .... and would rather try to erase his legacy".

She said those types of sentiments needed to stop in order for agreement to be found in the Stormont talks.

The championship returned to Northern Ireland after a near 70-year absence. Organisers did not consider Northern Ireland as a venue over the decades the Troubles raged on.

On the BBC's Sunday Politics in Northern Ireland the DUP leader was asked about the late Martin McGuinness's absence given his contribution in helping to bring the tournament to Northern Ireland.

Mrs Foster said she was "sure there were many people that would have loved to be here, but unfortunately can not be here".

"But for Northern Ireland the legacy this will leave will be immense," she said.

Mrs Foster and Mr McGuinness were first and deputy first ministers when it was confirmed Portrush would host the event this year.

Asked if the legacy of the Open was a testament of what the DUP and Sinn Fein can do when they work together she hoped it would help restore Stormont's power-sharing institutions.

"Things have changed absolutely and we really regret that we have not been in government for two-and-a-half years," she said.

"The position of my party is we should have been in government right through that time and if there were issues that needed to be solved it could have been dealt with in parallel talks.

"Of course Sinn Fein took a different position and pulled the government down."

She said "serious negotiations" were continuing between the parties.

"Of course it is odd we don't have a government we need to get the government back up and running again," she added.

Ahead of the first round of The Open, Michelle O'Neill paid her tribute to the role Martin McGuinness played saying he worked "tirelessly" on the project.

"I want to commend all that have worked to bring this prestigious event to our shores," she said.

PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates with the Claret Jug on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates with the Claret Jug on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Republic Of Ireland's Shane Lowry during a press conference after winning the Claret Jug during day four of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Pic: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.
Open Champions Shane Lowry gets his hands on the Claret Jug
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates with the Claret Jug on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates with the Claret Jug on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Open Champion Shane Lowry celebrates with the Claret Jug, wife Wendy and daughter Iris.
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates with the Claret Jug on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates with the Claret Jug on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Shane Lowry celebrates with the Claret Jug
Republic of Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrates with Claret Jug after winning The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 21, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Republic of Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrates with Claret Jug after winning The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 21, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Republic Of Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrate winning the Claret Jug during day four of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 21, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Republic of Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrates with Claret Jug after winning The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 21, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Shane Lowry finally gets his hands on the Claret Jug.
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland smiles on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Shane Lowry celebrate winning the Claret Jug Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire.
Republic Of Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrate winning the Claret Jug during day four of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 21, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Republic Of Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrates on the 18th during day four of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Pic: David Davies/PA Wire.
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Republic Of Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrates winning the Claret Jug with wife Wendy Honner and kid during day four of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 21, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Republic Of Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrates winning the Claret Jug during day four of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 21, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Republic Of Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrates winning the Claret Jug during day four of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 21, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Republic Of Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrates winning the Claret Jug during day four of The Open Championship 2019 at Royal Portrush Golf Club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 21, 2019. See PA story GOLF Open. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. Still image use only. The Open Championship logo and clear link to The Open website (TheOpen.com) to be included on website publishing.
Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrates after winning the British Open golf Championships at Royal Portrush golf club in Northern Ireland on July 21, 2019. (Photo by Andy BUCHANAN / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USEANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's Shane Lowry celebrates after winning the British Open golf Championships at Royal Portrush golf club in Northern Ireland on July 21, 2019. (Photo by Andy BUCHANAN / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USEANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Shane Lowry has won The Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
Shane Lowry enjoyed a four shot lead on the 14th tee of his final round.
Shane Lowry opened up with a level par front nine to close in on his first major title at the Open Championship.
Shane Lowry of Ireland reacts to his birdie putt on the fourth during the final round of The Open Championship at Royal Portrush (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Shane Lowry in the rough on the 1st during day four of The Open Championship at Royal Portrush (David Davies/PA)
Shane Lowry begins the final round of The Open Championship with a four shot lead.
Graeme McDowell's final round is under way.
Shane Lowry enjoyed a four shot lead on Saturday evening.

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