Hundreds turn out for Carrickmore vigil in honour of Martin McGuinness

Hundreds attended the vigil in Carrickmore
Hundreds attended the vigil in Carrickmore

The cold wintry weather didn't put off hundreds of mourners who turned out to pay their respects to former Mid Ulster MP and MLA Martin McGuinness last night.

A torch-lit procession made its way to Carrickmore's Garden of Remembrance where a silent, candle lit vigil was held.

West Tyrone MLA Barry McIElduff said a few short words praising the large turnout on what was a bitterly cold night.

Describing Martin McGuinness as a friend of the people, Mr McElduff gave an emotional speech before a lone piper played at the end of the vigil.

A Tyrone man who attended said: "I travelled to Carrickmore to pay respect to Martin McGuinness.

"In 1998 I was involved in the legal campaign to stop the closure of St Mary's Primary School in Carland, County Tyrone. Martin McGuinness was the then MP and he played an integral role in stopping the closure.

"Many prominent politicians made excuses not to get involved, but Martin McGuinness bent over backwards to help," he added.

"Countless children from that era are now graduates and professionals. I hope they spare a thought for the man who helped save the school.

"Barry McIlduff MLA made a short speech and stated that everyone was there for own their reasons, mine was to recognise the fact that even though we may have not shared political views we could set aside differences to work on issues beneficial to all communities."