Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, Northern Ireland’s former deputy first minister, has died aged 66….reports Asian Lite News
It is understood he had been suffering from a rare heart condition, BBC News reported.
The former IRA leader turned peacemaker worked at the heart of the power-sharing government following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
He became deputy first minister in 2007, standing alongside Democratic Unionist Party leaders Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson and Arlene Foster.
Mr McGuinness stood down from his post in January in protest against the DUP’s handling of an energy scandal, in a move that triggered a sanp election, BBC News reported.
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.
Prime Minister Theresa May said although she could never “condone the path he took in the earlier part of his life, Martin McGuinness ultimately played a defining role in leading the republican movement away from violence”.
“In doing so, he made an essential and historic contribution to the extraordinary journey of Northern Ireland from conflict to peace,” she added.
Former Conservative cabinet minister Lord Tebbit was one of those injured by an IRA bomb in Brighton’s Grand Hotel in 1984. His wife was left paralysed in the attack.
“He was a coward,” Lord Tebbit told Good Morning Britain.
“The reason he suddenly became a man of peace, was that he was desperately afraid that he was going to be arrested and charged with a number of murders.”
Colin Parry, whose 12-year-old son, Tim, died in an IRA bomb in Warrington in 1993, said although he did not forgive the IRA or Martin McGuinness, he found him a man who was “sincere in his desire for peace”.
Northern Ireland’s former first minister Arlene Foster expressed her “sincere condolences” at his death.
“Today’s news will come as a shock to many people,” she said.
“First and foremost, Martin McGuinness was a much loved husband, father and grandfather. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and the family circle at this very painful time of grief and loss.”
Northern Ireland Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, said Mr McGuinness’ “personal journey and the clear influence he had on others in the republican movement were instrumental in shaping political institutions in Northern Ireland founded on exclusively peaceful and democratic means”.