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Former Deputy First Minister Martin Mc Guinness has died

Former Deputy First Minister Martin Mc Guinness has died

If anyone had told me 25 years ago that I would be mourning the death of Martin McGuinness, I would have thought it could only be because I was confined to a padded cell in Broadmoor. His passing represents a significant loss, not only to politics in Northern Ireland but to the wider political landscape on this island and beyond.

"I got to know Martin well in recent years, including through our working together in the North South Ministerial Council".

"His commitment to securing enduring peace and prosperity for all of the people of Northern Ireland was unwavering throughout this time. For Bernie, his children and grandchildren, Martin's untimely loss is very hard to bear and they are in all our thoughts at this very sad time".

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, a key figure throughout five decades of Irish politics, has died.

"While we certainly didn't always see eye-to-eye even in later years, as deputy First Minister for almost a decade he was one of the pioneers of implementing cross community power sharing in Northern Ireland".

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Ten days later, showing signs of physical frailty, he announced his retirement from frontline politics.

Mr McGuinness, died early this morning at Derry's Altnagelvin Hospital with his family by his bedside.

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Alongside Gerry Adams, he went on to become the public face of Sinn Fein and was instrumental in a spilt within the party in 1983 which saw senior northern members take over control of the party from their southern counterparts.

"Throughout his life Martin showed great determination, dignity and humility and it was no different during his short illness", he said in a statement.

Over the course of his political career Mr McGuinness transitioned from a former IRA commander to being the face of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland.

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"First and foremost, Martin McGuinness was a much loved husband, father and grandfather". However, in his embrace of the politics of peace, he made an vast personal contribution to building and consolidating peace on this island.

She said history would record differing views on Mr McGuinness but he had played a pivotal role in bringing the republican movement toward peace. He became a man of peace. because he knew that he was shortly to be arrested and charged with specifically murders which he had committed himself.

With the Democratic Unionists now rather uncertainly led by Arlene Foster, I look to the future and feel the future would be clearer and maybe better, astonishing though it is for me to say this, if Martin McGuinness was still around and offering his particular brand of firm leadership. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and the family circle at this very painful time of grief and loss. "He served the people of Northern Ireland as deputy first minister for almost a decade and was pivotal in bringing the republican movement towards a position of using peaceful and democratic means".

Mr McGuinness stood down in January in protest at the DUP's handling of the "cash for ash" energy scandal, triggering a snap election.

"I genuinely regret every single life that was lost during that conflict and today I want every family who lost a loved one to know that your pain is not being ignored and I am willing to work with others to finding a way to deal with our past so that we can complete our journey to true reconciliation". "I'm very proud to say he was my friend and mentor x".

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