Martin McGuinness, IRA leader

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Offaly Sinn Féin TD Carol Nolan said she "was honoured" to help carry the coffin of Martin McGuinness at his funeral in Derry on Thursday, March 23.

The 66-year-old was deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland from May 2007 until January when he withdrew his Sinn Fein party from the government, citing the "deep-seated arrogance" of unionist leader Arlene Foster.

Led by former president Bill Clinton, a lengthy list of political figures have paid tribute to McGuinness, one of the primary architects of the Northern Ireland peace process.

Priest Michael Canny said McGuinness knew only too well how many people struggled with his IRA past, but that the presence of so many people in the church whose attendance would have been unthinkable only a short generation ago was an eloquent testimony to "a complex man".

On Thursday morning, Carol Nolan said she was proud to see the tricolour flying at half mast over Leinster House as a mark of respect for "a true patriot and statesman".

President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, DUP leader Arlene Foster, former United States president Bill Clinton and former British prime minister Tony Blair are expected to attend the requiem mass in the Church of Long Tower. As a child, Mrs Foster herself was on a school bus caught up in a republican bombing.

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"After all the breath he expended cursing the British, he worked with two prime ministers and shook hands with the Queen", Clinton said, addressing the 1,500 people inside Saint Columba's Church.

He was hailed by many as a peacemaker in later life who played an instrumental role in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement which largely brought to an end a conflict which claimed around 3,500 lives. This is not to equate understanding Martin McGuinness with condoning the actions he was complicit in; but not to engage with the environment that created him (as well as those who took a different path) is wilful, culpable, political astigmatism.

Rev David Latimer, of the First Derry Presbyterian Church, called Mr McGuinness a friend, whose big heart "enabled him to reach out in quite unexpected ways to both to friends and to foes alike".

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"Even more, he earned the right to ask us to honour his legacy by our living - to finish the work that is there to be done".

"Finish the work of peace".