Martin McGuinness’s son Fiachra and grandson Dualta at the unveiling of the portrait of the former deputy First Minister
By Anthony Neeson
A portrait to Martin McGuinness has been unveiled at Stormont, a year after his death.
Speaking at the event, which was also attended by former First Ministers Peter Robinson and Arlene Foster, Sinn Féin leader in the north, Michelle O’Neill, said it was with “a broken heart” that those gathered remember and celebrate Martin’s life.
“He was our leader, but he was Bernie’s beloved husband, a father, granddad and brother,” she said.
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“We will never forget the sacrifices that his family have made through many long and difficult years.
“Over this past year the McGuinness clan have symbolised Martin’s legacy as they attended the many events in his honor with great dignity and selflessness, while grieving their own personal loss.
“I hope that his family can take some comfort from the knowledge that Martin gave so much of his life, his time and his energy to make the lives of others better and to build a better future for all our people.”
Belfast artist Tony Bell, said: “When I first met Bernie to talk about the portrait it was obvious just how much she loved Martin and how much she was missing him. It was clear just how devoted they were as a couple and as a family.
“Bernie was immensely proud of her husband Martin, his life and his achievements, the man from the Bogside who stuck by his beliefs and had held his own with world leaders and politicians from around the globe. In portraying Martin I wanted to reflect her pride in him. If there was to be any symbolism in the portrait, it was important to me, that Martin should be seen as the statesman and the leader he was. After that, there was only one symbol I felt had to included. One we would all recognise. And it was his wedding ring – the symbol of the bond with his beloved wife and the family who stood with him in the good times and the bad, always.”