Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness called for an end to republicans organizing parties to celebrate Margaret Thatcher’s death.
The former British prime minister died on Monday aged 87 after she suffered a stroke while staying at the Ritz hotel in London.
The Sinn Féin deputy leader said on Tuesday that people should not celebrate Lady Thatcher's death. Via Twitter McGuiness denounced any celebrations to mark the former British leader’s death.
“Resist celebrating the death of Margaret Thatcher,she was NOT a Peacemaker but it is a mistake to allow her death to poison our minds ” he tweeted.
On Monday celebrations were held by dissident republicans in Derry city close to the site of the Bloody Sunday massacre. In West Belfast people gathered near a mural dedicated to the memory of former IRA hunger striker to celebrate her death.
However, McGuinness, a former member of the Provisional IRA, asked republicans to resist rejoicing over her death.
Meanwhile Unionist politicians have denounced the celebrations.
Jonathan Bell, a Democratic Unionist Assembly member for Strangford said, “While many will differ on policy, such is the nature of the democratic process, all right-thinking people will regard the carnival celebrations following Baroness Thatcher's death deeply inappropriate. At a time of bereavement there should be human compassion for those in mourning.”
DUP First Minister Peter Robinson praised Thatcher’s commitment to the Union whereas Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said her policies did a “great hurt to the Irish people.”
Thatcher became a republican hate figure after her uncompromising stance over the IRA hunger strikes in the Maze/Long Kesh prison in 1981. A total of 10 prisoners starved themselves to death in attempt to gain prisoner of war privileges, after Thatcher refused to back down.
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