Remembering Martin McGuinness
It is just over three years since Martin McGuiness passed away. He was a complex and remarkable man who went from being a former IRA leader to deputy first minister of Northern Ireland. Eve Parnell, the artist, remembers him as the man who opened her “Souls of the Slain” exhibition in The Long Gallery in Stormont. It was a collection of eight drawings inspired by Irish poetry and mythology in commemoration of the Centenary of the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme in Flanders, which began July 1st 1916.
Eve Parnell asked the Northern Irish first minister Arlene Foster and deputy first minister Martin McGuinness to speak at the opening, but only McGuinness was able to be there on the day. While Parnell said she was honoured to have such a noteworthy leader speak at the exhibition, Miriam Gormally pointed out that there are some who don’t remember McGuinness so positively. However Parnell said that in her lifetime, she always associated McGuinness with the peace process. She remarked on his strong presence, saying the room was hushed when he entered. The piece begins with the speech McGuinness gave to the people who were at the opening of the exhibition.