Current Affairs

Former IRA Group Commander, Martin McGuinness Dead At 66

By Christian Smith

The former deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, Martin McGuinness, has died at the age of 66.

The former IRA commander, who later led the peace process in Northern Ireland in the 1990’s, had been diagnosed with a rare heart condition in December.

In 2007, the Sinn Féin leader who was born in London Derry, became deputy first minister in a power-sharing government, but in January of this year, he resigned his post in protest against the handling of a botched heating scheme that is likely to cost taxpayers £490m.


Politicians and friends have remembered him in different ways.

In a tweet, the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn has paid tribute to the Irish politician.

He said: “Martin McGuinness played a huge role in bringing about peace in Northern Ireland. He was a great family man and my thoughts are with them.”

Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats said: “Martin McGuinness, for all his past, became a statesman. One moment sticks with me, the remarkable – and unlikely – images of McGuinness’ when he shook the hand of the Queen on her visit to Belfast in 2012. This single picture epitomised the changes in Northern Ireland.

“The historic handshake with the Queen in the quest for peace. This is something I, and millions of others, are thankful for. Peace in Northern Ireland is down, in part, to his leadership of the Republican community.”

But Lord Tebbit, whose wife was left paralysed after an IRA bombing of Brighton’s Grand Hotel in 1984, said “Martin McGuinness can’t be forgiven because he hasn’t repented.”


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