emfizz.com March 23, 2017

Northern Ireland Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness dies, aged 66

21 March 2017, 09:24 | Terri Saunders

Dundrod Co Antrim submitted by Paul McFarland Dromore

Dundrod Co Antrim submitted by Paul McFarland Dromore

Martin McGuinness, a former Irish Republican Army commander who was deputy first minister of Northern Ireland for a decade, has died aged 66 after a short illness, his party, Sinn Fein, announced on Tuesday.

Paying tribute, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said: "Throughout his life Martin showed great determination, dignity and humility and it was no different during his short illness".

He retired from politics on January 19, 2017, saying his health had been deteriorating.

He was a senior IRA figure during the Bloody Sunday of 1972, when British soldiers shot and killed 13 civilians during a civil rights march in the northern city of Derry. "But above all he loved his family and the people of Derry and he was immensely proud of both", Mr Adams added.

In 1973 he was convicted by the Irish Republic's courts of being an IRA member after being stopped in a auto packed with explosives and bullets and was briefly jailed.

After his release, and another conviction in the Republic for IRA membership, he became increasingly prominent in Sinn Fein.

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McGuinness' colourful political career came to end just months ago when he resigned as deputy first minister in the Northern Ireland assembly.

He was elected to the Northern Ireland Forum in 1996 representing Foyle.

But as with all elected members of Sinn Fein and the SDLP, he did not take his seat.

In his later years McGuinness was hailed as a peacemaker for negotiating the 1998 peace deal, sharing power with his bitterest enemy and shaking hands with the Queen, though the gestures were condemned by some former comrades as treachery.

DUP leader Arlene Foster - who was First Minister at the time of Martin McGuinness's resignation, haa said her thoughts and prayers are with Mr McGuinness's wife and the family circle, and described him as having been pivotal in bringing the republican movement towards a position of using peaceful and democratic means.

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