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World Loses a True Peacemaker
Washington, D.C. (March 21, 2017) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA, the Laborers’ International Union of North America, today made the following statement regarding the death of Martin McGuinness:
The world today lost a great peacemaker, leader, and champion of justice. On behalf of the 500,000 strong, proud, and united men and women of LIUNA, I extend our sympathies and condolences to Martin McGuinness’ family and friends, as well as to all the Irish people.
Trade unionism and Irish Republicanism are two causes with the same goals: self-determination, workers rights, civil rights, and human rights. That is why so many proud Irish-American and Irish-Canadian labor leaders, and I, supported Martin McGuinness and other Irish Republicans.
Martin McGuinness was, and will forever remain, a hero to all those who dream of a free, independent, and united Ireland. His accomplishments, dedication, and courage put him in the company of Irish patriots like James Connolly, Big Jim Larkin, Padraig Pearse, and all the signers of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic. A tough and tenacious warrior, he devoted his life to fighting for justice, equality, and prosperity for all the people of Ireland. He stood resolute in the face of harassment, imprisonment, and persecution that would have deterred even the strongest of souls.
Martin McGuinness worked alongside former enemies to plant the seeds of a peace process that continues to blossom and grow today. The remarkable friendship he formed with Ian Paisley will forever inspire all those who pursue peace and reconciliation.
While many will follow in Martin McGuinness’ footsteps, none will ever be able to fill his shoes. When that great day arrives when all of Ireland is united under one flag, one government, and one nation, the name of Martin McGuinness will be inscribed among those who brought that day about.
The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America.