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Martin McGuinness will not seek reelection to Stormont Assembly

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Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness has announced he is quitting frontline politics for health reasons and will not seek reelection to the Stormont Assembly.

Mr McGuinness said it was initially his intention to stand down in May, on the 10th anniversary of the power-sharing Executive, but that his health and the current political crisis had "overtaken the timeframe".

He added that he was not "physically able" to continue in his current role.

"I have to be honest with myself," the former deputy first minister said about his health. "This has taken a toll on me in the course of recent times and the reality is that I’m not physically able to put the energy and the effort that is needed into this election."

He resigned as deputy first minister last week over the DUP's handing of the Renewable Heating Incentive scandal, triggering a snap election in March.

Read Martin McGuinness' statement in full

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Statement in full

Mr McGuinness said on Thursday: "Last year, Gerry Adams and I confirmed that we had a plan in place for transition to a new leadership. For my part, it was my intention to step aside in May this year which would have marked 10 years since I entered government with Ian Paisley as joint leader of the northern Executive.

"Unfortunately, my health and the current crisis have overtaken this timeframe and I am stepping down from my role to make way for a new leader of Sinn Féin in the North.

"Over the last ten years I have worked tirelessly to make power-sharing work.

"The institutions are now in a deep crisis as a result of recent events and we are facing into an election when the people will have their say.

"After long and careful consideration, I have decided that it is time for a new generation of republicans to lead us into this election and the negotiations that will follow.

"Sinn Féin is a party in constant development, renewal and evolution.

"Our struggle for freedom and equality stretches back to the United Ireland movement of the 1790s. I am deeply proud of the democratic influences that Ulster Presbyterianism contributed to the Irish republican tradition.

"It remains my own personal and political ambition to break the link with Britain and to unite all who share this island under the common banner of Irish men and women.

"I am deeply proud of the generation of Irish republicans that came before us. A generation that kept the vision of freedom alive through the difficult post-partition era when they faced unrelenting repression and persecution from the Ulster Unionist Party in an apartheid Orange state.

"I have been privileged to be part of the generation that broke that apartheid state apart and to have been part of a Sinn Féin leadership that delivered peace and radical change. There are more republicans today than at any time in my generation.

"I look across the party north and south and see energy, determination, talent and potential new leaders emerging who, I am confident, will deliver equality, respect and Irish unity.

"My obvious heath issues are being addressed by a superb team of national health service doctors and nurses.

"But I want to be open and honest with my friends and colleagues in Sinn Féin, with the electorate of Foyle and with the wider community beyond my own constituency. I also want to be fair to my family and to the teams of carers who are doing their best to provide me with the treatment I now require to deal with this very serious medical condition which I am very determined to overcome.

"Unfortunately, I am not physically able to continue in my current role and have therefore decided to make way for a new leader.

"This election is the right time for me to move aside so I will not seek re-election to the Assembly.

'I have full confidence in the strong team that we have built in the Assembly to carry forward the work of building institutions that deliver for all our people on the basis of equality, respect and integrity.

"A new leader will lead us into this Assembly election and into the negotiations that will inevitably follow on from that election.

"We need the strongest Sinn Féin team if we are to ensure the progressive change which is now an essential next step forward and our new leader will have my full and undivided support in the weeks and months ahead.

"We are on a journey to unite our people and unite our island.

"As a Sinn Féin activist I will continue to play a full and enthusiastic part in that essential process of building bridges, of dialogue and of reconciliation between our still divided people.

"Despite the current difficulties and challenges, I am confident and optimistic about the future. We have faced more difficult times and found a way forward.

"As a society we have made enormous progress. We must continue to move forward. Dialogue is the only option."

File photo dated 16/03/88 of an injured man being aided by mourners, including Sinn Fein vice president Martin McGuinness (left), at Milltown Cemetery, Belfast, after a gun and bomb attack killed three and left four seriously injured, at the funerals of three IRA members killed in Gibraltar. David Jones/PA Wire
File photo dated 16/03/88 of an injured man being aided by mourners, including Sinn Fein vice president Martin McGuinness (left), at Milltown Cemetery, Belfast, after a gun and bomb attack killed three and left four seriously injured, at the funerals of three IRA members killed in Gibraltar. David Jones/PA Wire
President of Sinn Fein Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness at the funeral of Patrick Kelly . 1987
Martin McGuinness handcuffed to a policeman after being remanded at Special Criminal Court in Dublin, January 1973.
Martin McGuinness pictured in Derry with Rossville Flats in background and other street scenes. 11/11/85. 1148/85/bwc
PACEMAKER BELFAST Martin McGuinness (left) follows the coffin of IRA man Charles English in Derry 1984
Martin McGuinness in Derry's Bogside at a press conference. 1971
Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein, pictured leaving court in Belfast after charges against him involving IRA membership were dropped 1976.
File photo dated 26/02/96 of Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness speaking to the media after a meeting with Government officials at Castle Buildings, Stormont. PA
Rory McIlroy welcomed back home following his success at the Open Championship Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness
First and Deputy First Minister Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness at Stormont at the first British Irish Council meeting 2007.
1988 Anniversary of Internment rally
31/08/95 of Martin McGuinness, leading Sinn Fein negotiator in the peace process, attending a news conference in the House of Commons. PA
Funeral in West Belfast of the Gibraltar bombers; Mairead Farrell, Sean Savage and Danny McCann. Martin McGuinness with Michael Stone's gloves and bullets after the loyalist attacked the funeral 22/6/88
19/7/2011. PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Darren Clarke returns home to Royal Portrush golf club with the Open trophy he won at the weekend., met by Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 27/6/12 Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness watched by First minister Peter Robinson (centre) at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast. POOL PICTURE PA/PACEMAKER PRESS
PACEMAKER BELFAST AUGUST 1985 MARTIN McGUINNESS LEAVING CRUMLIN ROAD JAIL AFTER SERVING SENTENCE FOR FAILURE TO PAY FINES. 1042/85/BW
Pacemaker Press Belfast: 09 May 2013: The first and deputy first ministers have announced how they intend to progress building a shared future in Northern Ireland. First Minister Peter Robinson said the proposals are the most ambitious ever brought forward on the issue. Among them is the target of bringing down all of Northern Ireland's peace walls by 2023. Mr Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said this could only happen in tandem with the communities affected. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
PACEMAKER BELFAST AUGUST 1985 MARTIN McGUINNESS SINN FEIN LEADER IN DERRY 1006/85/BW
PACEMAKER BELFAST. Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness at Connally House addressing the media about the IRA ceasefire. 31/8/94. 684/94/c
Pacemaker Press 3/11/2016 The President of the Republic of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos Caldern, is greeted by First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First minister Martin McGuinness at Stormont Castle on Thursday during a visit to Northern Ireland as part of his State visit to the UK. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press Belfast 07-12-2012: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has arrived in Belfast as part of a four-day trip to Europe. US SOS Hillary Clinton pictured at Stormont Castle with Northern Ireland's First and Deputy First Minister, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
PACEMAKER BELFAST On the first day of the ulster Peace Talks Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness locked out of the stormont talks. PHOTO MARTIN WRIGHT
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/11/99 Sinn Fein vice President Martin McGuinness pictured with masked IRA men at the funeral of Brendan Burns 5/3/88
File photo dated 19/10/98 of Martin McGuinness leaving 10 Downing St after a meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair. PA
Pacemaker Press 19/5/2016 First Minister Arlene Foster and and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness speak to the media at Storming Castle on Thursday. The various parties have been meeting at Stormont Castle in a series of talks that could decide the fate of the next Northern Ireland Executive. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Martin McGuinness with Ian Paisley after being sworn in as First and Deputy First Ministers of the Assembly
Pacemaker Press Belfast 21-06-2013: The British-Irish Council meeting was held in Magee College, Derry~Londonderry. Peter Robinson MLA First Minister and Martin McGuinness MP MLA deputy First Minister host the event. The British-Irish Council was established as part of the multi-party agreement reached in Belfast on 10 April 1998. Its membership comprises representatives from the Irish Government; UK Government; Scottish Government; Northern Ireland Executive; Welsh Government; Isle of Man Government; Government of Jersey and Government of Guernsey. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 20/11/2012 Prime Minister David Cameron meets First Minister Peter Robinson , Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers at Stormont Castle in Belfast during his visit to Northern Ireland , During his visit The Prime minister announced that The main venue for the annual G8 event is to be at Lough Erne golf resort near Enniskillen, County Fermanagh next year Photo Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 13/09/2015 Chairperson of Sinn Féins Six County Cúige, Bobby Storey, speaks to the media today, Sunday 13th September, at 11am in the Roddy McCorley Social Club, Glen Road, Andersonstown, Belfast, County Antrim BT11 8BU, Belfast. He was be joined by Gerry Adams TD, Martin McGuinness MLA. Mary Lou McDonald TD, and Jennifer McCann MLA. Martin McGuinness speaks at the press conference Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Press 20/3/2015 Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness as Sinn Féin launch the programme of events to mark 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising 1916-2016 on Friday at Clifton House
Pacemaker Press 3/11/2016 The President of the Republic of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos Caldern, is greeted by First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First minister Martin McGuinness at Stormont Castle on Thursday during a visit to Northern Ireland as part of his State visit to the UK. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker press 1//5/14 Deputy first minister Martin McGuinness speaks to the media regarding the detention of the Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams. Mr Adams is being questioned by the PSNI regarding the murder of Jean McConville in 1972. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 8/5/2007. Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness pictured before he entered Stormont Parliment on the first day of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-10-2013: Prime Minister David Cameron has said Northern Ireland is second only to London in the UK as the top destination for inward investment. Mr Cameron is pictured with Northern Irelands First minister Peter Robinson & Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Stormont Castle after attending major investment conference in Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 4/6/2008. Bridge to the Future... First Minister Ian Paisley and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness pictured with Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and Dan Sten Olsson, Chairman of Stena Line, Conor Murphy Minister for Regional Development and Len O'Hagan, Chairman of Belfast Harbour Commissioners on the bridge of the Stena HSS at the official opening of the new £37million Stena Line Terminal at Belfast Port today. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Pacemaker Press 4/7/2013 First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Belfast City Hall to announce details of the 2013 World Police and Fire games that will begin on 1st August with an opening ceremony at the King's Hall Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
20/5/2010. PACEMAKER BELFAST. PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON AND NORTHERN IRELAND SECRETARY OF STATE MEET WITH FIRST MINISTER PETER ROBINSON AND DEPUTY FIRST MINISTER MARTIN MCGUINNESS AT STORMONT CASTLE THIS AFTERNOON. PICTURE CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER.
5/2.10 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. GORDON BROWN, PETER ROBINSON, MARTIN MCGUINNESS AND BRIAN COWAN TALK TO THE PRESS THIS MORNING AT HILLSBOROUGH AS THE DEAL FOR DEVOLVING POLICING AND JUSTICE WAS FINALLY DONE LATE LAST NIGHT. PICTURE CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER.
Pacemaker Press 19/5/2016 First Minister Arlene Foster and and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness speak to the media at Storming Castle on Thursday. The various parties have been meeting at Stormont Castle in a series of talks that could decide the fate of the next Northern Ireland Executive. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
27/1/2010. PACEMAKER BELFAST. GERRY ADAMS AND MARTIN MCGUINNESS HOLD A PRESS CONFERENCE INSIDE HILLSBOROUGH CASTLE. PICTURE CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER.
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. 6/2/11 : First Minister Peter Robinson and Dep. First Minister Martin McGuinness pictured at a special Good Samaritans Service in St. Anne's Cathedral, Belfast. Donations from the Black Santa Christmas Sit out were presented to representatives of 180 charities and community groups. PHOTO: Kirth Ferris/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/10 Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Stormont yesterday after a draft budget was agreed on cuts, after intensive discussions over the course of the last three to four months Chancellor George Osbourne ordered Stormont to cut spending by £4bn over the next four years as part of the Spending Review Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
29/9/2010. Former President of the United States Bill Clinton departs Magee College to cheers from students eager to catch a glimpse of the world statesman as he posed with First Minister and Deputy First Minister Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness alongside John Hume. Picture: Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness with Loyalist Jackie McDonald on the Falls Road at the Bobby Sands Mural. Loyaltist and Republican leaders came together to give an insight into the troubles. William 'Plum' Smith joined Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness on Stage with Brian Rowan as part as an Exhibition to his archives Photo; Colm O'Reilly Pacemaker Press
30/1/2010. PACEMAKER PRESS INTL BELFAST. DRESS DOWN SATURDAY. DEPUTY FIRST MINISTER MARTIN MCGUINNESS ARRIVES AT HILLSBOROUGH CASTLE. PICTURE CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER.
Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness Loyalist Jackie McDonald and Peter Sheridan former head of Special Branch in the Falls Road Library, Loyaltist and Republican leaders came together to give an insight into the troubles. William 'Plum' Smith joined Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness on Stage with Brian Rowan. Photo; Colm O'Reilly Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 14/7/2010 PSNI Chief Constble Matt Baggott meets with First and deputy First ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness this afternoon to discuss the on going security situation in North Belfast after the 12th July.
Pacemaker Press Belfast. 8-06-09 An Unhappy Jim Allister with Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness at the Counting of ballots cast in the European elections in Northern Ireland where the DUP may be facing its worst ever result in a European parliamentary election due, in part, to a split in the unionist vote. Photo; Colm O'Reilly Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 11/5/09 Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams takes a plunge at the partys photocall in the Water Works in North Belfast. As the partys European Election candidate Barbrie de Bruin (centre) posed for the cameras with party colleagues, Mr Adams was saved by his deputy Martin McGuinness, doing his David Hasselhoff impersonation. Photo Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 10-03-2009: The First Minister Peter Robinson was joined by the Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde at a press conference at Belfast Stormont Castle. They condemned the murdered policeman Constable Stephen Paul Carroll, 48, a married man with children from the Banbridge area of County Down Northern Ireland . PICTURE BY: ARTHUR ALLISON.
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL BELFAST 11/11/2009. First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness greet Irish Foreign Secretary Micheal Martin at Stormont castle this morning. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL BELFAST 11/11/2009. First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness wait to greet Irish Foreign Secretary Micheal Martin at Stormont castle this morning. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Pacemaker Press 12/10/09 Secretary Of State of the US Hilary Clinton after a meeting with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Stormont Castle during her visit Belfast Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 12/10/09 Secretary Of State of the US Hilary Clinton after a meeting with First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Stormont Castle during her visit Belfast Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker
File photo dated 05/11/03 of Martin McGuinness walking past a Bloody Sunday mural in the Bogside in Derry. PA
PACEMAKER PRESS 24-04-2009. Martin McGuinness arrives at Free Derry corner for his press conference this afternoon concerning the death threats made against him by dissident republicans. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 29/9/2010: The former US President Bill Clinton , with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness,after speaking at the University of Ulster,Magee campus, in Londonderry,Wednesday 29th September 2010,Mr Clinton arrived in Northern Ireland on a visit designed to support the peace process and promote economic growth.Mr Clinton is visiting Londonderry where 25,000 people turned out to see him on his first visit in 1995. He is expected to make a speech at the University of Ulster campus at Magee on how to build economic prosperity.PA:Paul Faith POOL PICTURE
PACEMAKER BELFAST 4/4/2007 Sinn Fein today announced their Ministerial team in the forthcoming Executive on 8th May. Making the announcement Chief negotiator and deputy first Minister Martin McGuinness was joined on the Stormont Steps by Francie Molloy, Connor Murphy, Catriona Ruane, Michelle Gildernew and Gerry Kelly. PHOTO MARK PEARCE/PACEMAKER PRESS
PACEMAKER BELFAST 4/4/2007 Sinn Fein today announced their Ministerial team in the forthcoming Executive on 8th May. Making the announcement Chief negotiator and deputy first Minister martin McGuinness was joined on the Stormont Steps by Francie Molloy, Connor Murphy, Catriona Ruane, Michelle Gildernew and Gerry Kelly. PHOTO MARK PEARCE/PACEMAKER PRESS
Pacemaker Press International Belfast 16/7/2007. First and Deputy First Minister Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness pictured today at Stormont at the British Irish Council meeting 2007 . Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Pacemaker Press International Belfast 12/7/2007. HOWZAT!? First and Deputy First Ministers Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness pictured this evening with Ireland's cricket captain Trent Johnston and spin bowler Kyle McCallen. The Irish cricket side were at Parliment Buildings in honour of their heroic exploits at the Cricket World Cup. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 8/5/2007. Prime Minister Tony Blair poses on the steps as he leaves Stormont Parliment on the first day of the Northern Ireland Assembly with Bertie Ahern watched by First Minister and Deputy First Minister Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 8/3/2007: Francie Molloy, Michelle O'Neill and Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein celebrate being elected in the first count in the Mid Ulster constituency in the Assembly election count in Ballymena today. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL 1-05-2007:President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso pictured meeting Northern Irelands First and Deputy First Ministers the Rev Ian Paisley,MP,MLA and Mr Martin McGuinness MP, MLA at the steps of Parliament Buildings in Belfast. PICTURE BY: ARTHUR ALLISON.
Pacemaker Press 19/5/2016 First Minister Arlene Foster and and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness speak to the media at Storming Castle on Thursday. The various parties have been meeting at Stormont Castle in a series of talks that could decide the fate of the next Northern Ireland Executive. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 16/5/2016 Deputy First Minister Martin Martin McGuinness speaks to the media at Storming Castle on Wednesday, as he confirmed the ministers would be appointed next week. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/11/2015 First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Stormont Castle, A deal has been reached between the British and Irish governments and the Northern Ireland parties to resolve the current political crisis. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
27/1/2010. PACEMAKER BELFAST. GERRY ADAMS AND MARTIN MCGUINNESS HOLD A PRESS CONFERENCE INSIDE HILLSBOROUGH CASTLE. PICTURE CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER.
File photo dated 31/08/95 of Martin McGuinness, leading Sinn Fein negotiator in the peace process, attending a news conference in the House of Commons.John Stillwell/PA Wire
File photo dated 08/03/07 of Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein standing beside a table where his votes are being counted after the Northern Ireland Assembly election in Ballymena, Co Antrim. Julien Behal/PA Wire
File photo dated 31/12/07 of Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley (right) and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at the opening of Ireland's first IKEA store in Belfast. Paul Faith/PA Wire
File photo dated 15/03/2000 of Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams (left) and Martin McGuinness embracing at Dublin Airport. Chris Bacon/PA Wire
File photo dated 07/05/10 of Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness (second right) of Sinn Fein celebrating after being returned as MP for Mid Ulster, at The Seven Towers Leisure Centre in Ballymena. Paul Faith/PA Wire
File photo dated 09/08/85 of Noraid leader Martin Galvin (right), banned from Northern Ireland by the Home Secretary, standing alongside Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, as the two men acted as pall-bearers at the Londonderry funeral of IRA man Charles English. PA Wire
File photo dated 04/08/05 of Prime Minister Tony Blair (left) meeting Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams (right) and chief negotiator Martin McGuinness in 10 Downing Street. Richard Pohle/PA Wire
File photo dated 11/12/97 of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams and his deputy Martin McGuinness (left) with party aides outside No10 Downing Street before meeting Prime Minister Tony Blair for peace talks. Adam Butler/PA Wire
File photo dated 19/10/98 of Martin McGuinness leaving 10 Downing St after a meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
File photo dated 10/11/03 of Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein speaking at an election press conference in Belfast. Paul Faith/PA Wire
File photo dated 23/06/09 of Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness looking at a smashed window at the City Church in the University area of Belfast. PA
File photo dated 24/05/08 of Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams (right) and Martin McGuinness carrying the coffin of former senior IRA commander Brian Keenan in west Belfast. Paul Faith/PA Wire
File photo dated 09/08/96 of Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness addressing Nationalists outside the Guildhall in Serry after a march. PA
File photo dated 13/09/83 of Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness. PA Wire
File photo dated 11/05/87 of Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams and West Belfast MP Martin McGuinness (right) at the funeral of Patrick Kelly, 30, the reputed IRA commander in East Tyrone. PA Wire
File photo dated 15/03/2000 of Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams (left) and Martin McGuinness embracing at Dublin Airport. PA
File photo dated 04/11/03 of Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness outside the Guildhall in Derry after giving evidence to the Saville Inquiry, into the Bloody Sunday tribunal. PA
File photo dated 29/09/10 of former US President Bill Clinton (right)arriving at University of Ulster Magee Campus in Derry to meet First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness (centre). Julien Behal/PA Wire
File photo dated 16/06/8 of Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness (left) and First Minister Peter Robinson (centre) with US President George Bush at Stormont Castle in Belfast. PA Wire
File photo dated 27/08/95 of Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness addressing a Republican rally in Pomeroy, Co Tyrone. PA Wire
File photo dated 05/11/03 of Martin McGuinness walking past a Bloody Sunday mural in the Bogside in Londonderry. Paul Faith/PA Wire
Pacemaker Press Belfast 19-09-2016: Martin McGuinness to call on British government to fund legacy inquests. Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness pictured speaking to the media ahead of this afternoon's meeting with British Secretary of State James Brokenshire on the need for the British government to live up to its responsibilities on addressing the legacy of the past. Mr McGuinness will call on the British government to release funding for legacy inquests, including the Ballymurphy massacre cases. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
File photo dated 18/01/01 of Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein standing beside a sentry box outside Hillsborough Castle before a meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair. PA
PACEMAKER BELFAST 8/5/2007. Well done Tony! Prime Minister Tony Blair leaves Stormont Parliment on the first day of the Northern Ireland Assembly with Bertie Ahern watched by First Minister and Deputy First Minister Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker
File photo dated 06/06/08 of Prime Minister Gordon Brown (left) with Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuiness (right) in the garden at 10 Downing Street, London. PA
Pacemaker Press 5/3/08 "Business as usual" First Minister Ian Paisley with his Deputy Martin McGuinness at Stormont after a committee meeting. Yesterday Dr Paisleys announcement that he will be stepping down in May from his role as Minister and DUP Leader. Pic Colm Lenaghan/PACEMAKER
File photo dated 23/06/09 of Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness looking at a smashed window at the City Church in the University area of Belfast. Paul Faith/PA Wire
Pacemaker Press International Belfast 16/7/2007. First and Deputy First Mnister Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness pictured today at Stormont at the British Irish Council meeting 2007 . Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 10-03-2009: The First Minister Peter Robinson was joined by the Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde at a press conference at Belfast Stormont Castle. They condemned the murdered policeman Constable Stephen Paul Carroll, 48, a married man with children from the Banbridge area of County Down Northren Ireland . PICTURE BY: ARTHUR ALLISON.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 20/11/08 First Minister Peter Robinson (front right) and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness (front left),at the Northern Ireland Executive meeting in Stormont Castle ,20th November 2008,The Northern Ireland Executive will met today for the first time since June after the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fein agreed an end to their stand-off.An economic aid package is expected to top the agenda at today's meeting after a delegation yesterday met Prime Minister Gordon Brown to appeal for financial support.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 20/11/08 First Minister Rt Hon Peter D Robinson MP MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP MLA officially opened a new £9million production plant in Belfast, The investment by Larsen Manufacturing, a market leader in the manufacture and supply of chemicals for the construction industry in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, will boost the companyís production capability, creating up to 30 new jobs Pic Colm Lenaghan / Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 18.11/08 The First and Deputy First Ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness's at their joint press conference at Stormont today. The DUP and Sinn Féin have come to an agreement on the devolution of policing and justice which will bring a 152-day deadlock at Stormont to an end. The executive will meet on Thursday 20 November and on a weekly basis until business is up to date, the first and deputy first ministers said. Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker
PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 17/7/2007 Taioseach Bertie Ahern  speaks to the press while First Minister Ian Paisley and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness look on from behind  at the first  meeting of the North-South Ministerial Council since the assembly which took place in Armagh City.  The meeting, in Armagh, includes members of the executive and Taioseach Bertie Ahern and other Irish ministers. Picture Mark Pearce/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 4/6/2008. First Minister Ian Paisley, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, as they officially opened the new £37million Stena Line Terminal at Belfast Port today. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
File photo dated 29/09/10 of former US President Bill Clinton with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at the University of Ulster Magee campus in Derry. PA
Pacemaker Press 12/10/09 Secretary Of State of the US Hilary Clinton is greeted by First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness as she arrives at Stormont Castle during her visit Belfast Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 9/9/2011 Martin McGuinness addresses Sinn Fein's Ard Fheis at Belfast's Waterfront Conference Centre for a two day event. The Presbyterian minister from Derry, was invited to speak at the conference by Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness.. It was the first time a Presbyterian minister will have addressed the ard fheis Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press Belfast 9-05-2011: Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein pictured during a Press Conference in Belfast this afternoon, where the pair spoke of the parties success in last wekends election. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press 3/7/2012 First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness during the opening of the New Visitors centre at the Giants Causeway in Co Antrim Yesterday, The £18.5m building has taken 18 months to complete and includes exhibition spaces, a cafe and shops. Walks and trails around the site have also been upgraded, with the addition of a new accessible cliff-top walk for families and people with disabilities .PIcture Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker
PACEMAKER BELFAST 27/6/12 Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness watched by First minister Peter Robinson (centre) at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast. POOL PICTURE PA/PACEMAKER PRESS
Pacemaker Press 9/9/2011 The Reverend David Latimer is welcomed by Martin McGuinness for Sinn Feins Ard Fheis at Belfasts Waterfront Conference Centre for a two day event. The Presbyterian minister from Derry, was invited to speak at the conference by Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness.. It was the first time a Presbyterian minister will have addressed the ard fheis Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 3/7/2012 First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness wave to the visitors during the opening of the New Visitors centre at the Giants Causeway in Co Antrim Yesterday, The £18.5m building has taken 18 months to complete and includes exhibition spaces, a cafe and shops. Walks and trails around the site have also been upgraded, with the addition of a new accessible cliff-top walk for families and people with disabilities .PIcture Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker
PACEMAKER BELFAST 28/01/2012 - Power NI Dr McKenna Cup Final, Tyrone v Derry, at Armagh. Peter Robinson, accompanied by Martin McGuinness, attended the McKenna Cup final.
File photo dated 30/05/06 of Sinn Fein MP Martin McGuinness with party colleagues during a press conference at Stormont. PA
Martin McGuinness signs resignation letter.
Martin McGuinness at the Bishop's Gate Hotel in Derry, as the former Deputy First Minister announced that he is quitting elected politics to concentrate on recovering from serious health issues: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Martin McGuinness at the Bishop's Gate Hotel in Londonderry, as the former Deputy First Minister announced that he is quitting elected politics to concentrate on recovering from serious health issues. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Sinn Fein former Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness pictured leaving Stormont Castle in east Belfast after he resigned. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Martin McGuinness during an interview with the Press Association at the Bishop's Gate Hotel in Derry, as the former Deputy First Minister announced that he is quitting elected politics to concentrate on recovering from serious health issues. PA

Sinn Fein figures who could be nominated for deputy first minister post

Sinn Fein could be in a position to nominate a new deputy first minister if talks on resurrecting power-sharing are successful. Here are some of the candidates.

Conor Murphy

The married father of two is a key member of the Sinn Fein negotiating team with particular responsibility for institutional issues and has represented the party at the Hillsborough, Leeds Castle and St Andrew's negotiations as well as playing a key role in the Fresh Start agreement negotiated at Stormont House.

In 2005 the south Armagh man was the first from his party to be elected as MP for Newry and Armagh. He retained the seat in 2010 but returned to the Assembly in 2015.

Since then he has been a member of the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee and the Public Accounts Committee. Mr Murphy chaired the Economy Committee which had been investigating the Renewable Heat Incentive scandal.

Michelle O'Neill

The Stormont health minister has been involved in republican politics from her teens, has held various senior positions within Sinn Fein and has a background in social welfare issues.

The former agriculture minister from Mid Ulster has been a prominent face articulating the party's position in recent weeks since Martin McGuinness became ill.

She has worked in the Assembly since 1998, initially as political adviser to Francie Molloy before being elected to the devolved legislature in 2007 following the restoration of power sharing.

Mairtin O Muilleoir

 

The relative newcomer to the Assembly is a media publisher who represents south Belfast.

He is a former Lord Mayor who was an advocate for greater inclusiveness in Northern Ireland's main city.

The keen marathon runner and graduate of Queen's University Belfast has been finance minister during the short-lived current Assembly which is about to be dissolved.

He has heavily criticised the DUP over its handling of the Renewable Heat Incentive which threatens to land taxpayers with a £490 million bill.

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