Adams and McGuinness attend Newry funeral of party activist

December 22, 2014

Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness were in Newry on Wednesday to attend the funeral of Niall Vallely, a long-time activist with the party.

Mr Vallely from the Dublin Road, passed away on Sunday, and was predeceased by his wife, Una, just 13 weeks earlier.

One of the original members of the People’s Democracy (PD) movement, he was present in the 1969 PD student march from Belfast to Derry, which was ambushed by the B Specials.

A prominent member of Sinn Fein, Mr Vallely’s standing within the party was acknowledged by the attendance of Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness, who carried his coffin.

In a eulogy delivered during the requiem Mass at the Church of the Assumption, Dromalane, Gerry Adams described Mr Vallely as an idealist, activist, family man and musician.

“There is something compelling about older radicals, about those who keep the faith but who also move with the times and who are relevant in the modern world.  That was Niall,” he told mourners.

Mr Vallely was laid to rest in Cloughogue cemetery.