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Martin McGuinness remembered at Mass on Capitol Hill

By Noel McAdam

The late Martin McGuinness's two sons have attended a memorial service for the former deputy First Minister in Washington.

Fiachra and Emmett McGuinness were accompanied by Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams at the special morning Mass in St Peter's Catholic Church on Capitol Hill yesterday.

The ceremony was organised by US Congressman Richie Neal, a close friend and supporter of Mr McGuinness for many years.

Mr Neal, who leads the Congressional Friends of Ireland group, delivered a eulogy during the service, which was followed by a reception.

Secretary of State James Brokenshire, who was also in Washington on a three-day visit, did not attend the service but met Mr Adams separately on Monday night.

Afterwards Mr Adams hit out at Mr Brokenshire's intention to start a public consultation on plans to deal with the legacy from the Troubles as a "cynical ploy".

Mr Adams, who also met US State Department officials, said: "There is an imperative on his government to honour its obligations under the Good Friday Agreement, including in respect of legacy issues.

"It is not acceptable that the British Government has refused to honour commitments it made in the Stormont House Agreement on legacy three years ago."

"In particular, the British Government has denied the inquest courts and the Police Ombudsman's office the funding they need to fulfil their legal responsibilities," he added. Mr Adams said London had also stymied the proposal by Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan for dealing with the inquests that have yet to take place relating to more than 90 Troubles-related deaths, many of them going back decades.

"As part of efforts to sideline legacy issues, the British Secretary of State recently said that his government would now consult on the legacy proposals. This is a cynical ploy to delay implementing the legacy proposals," he claimed.

Mr Adams said he had also discussed the implications of Brexit and argued the best way to defend the Good Friday Agreement was for designated special status within the EU to be "assigned" for the province.

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