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Martin McGuinness death: Tributes from Clinton, May, Blair, Hume, O'Neill, Foster, Adams and Nesbitt as Sinn Fein chief loses fight for life at Derry's Altnagelvin Hospital

Sinn Fein leader Michelle O'Neill has paid tribute to Martin McGuinness following his death, describing him as a "giant of Irish politics".

Mr McGuinness, 66, died during the night at Derry's Altnagelvin Hospital.

Over the course of his political career he transitioned from IRA commander to being the face of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland and an influential figure in the peace process.

Michelle O'Neill, who succeeded Mr McGuinness as his party's leader at Stormont, said: "Martin was truly a giant of Irish politics and was known and respected across the world.

"He led republicanism from the front for decades, striving for reunification and promoting peace and reconciliation and a genuine commitment to equality and respect."

DUP leader Arlene Foster said: “History will record differing views and opinions on the role Martin McGuinness played throughout the recent and not so recent past, but history will also show that his contribution to the political and peace process was significant.”

Prime Minister Theresa May said he played a defining role in moving republicans away from violence.

The former IRA commander was a key architect in delivering the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 and in recent years made further history as he met the Queen on a number of occasions.

He served as deputy First Minister with three DUP First Ministers - the late Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson and Mrs Foster, before he left active politics in January.

Ian Paisley, son of the late Lord Bannside who developed a close bond with Mr McGuinness, paid his respects saying: "It's not how you start your life, it's how you finish your life".

The North Antrim MP said he had gone from viewing Mr McGuinness as the "godfather of the IRA" to considering him a personal friend.

"And most people will be thankful that Martin McGuinness finished his life a lot better than it could have been."

Michelle O'Neill: 'A giant of Irish politics'

Mrs O'Neill said: "On behalf of Sinn Fein I want to offer my deepest condolences following the death of our friend and comrade, Martin McGuinness.

"Martin was truly a giant of Irish politics and was known and respected across the world.

"He led republicanism from the front for decades, striving for reunification and promoting peace and reconciliation and a genuine commitment to equality and respect.

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

"Growing up as a young republican I was inspired by Martin McGuinness and I continue to be today.

"His leadership, grace and warm personality have transformed Irish politics for the better and his impact will be felt for many years to come.

"My thoughts are with his wife, Bernie, and children, Emmet, Fiachra, Fionnuala and Grainne and the entire clann at this time."

Arlene Foster: 'Pivotal'

Ms Foster said: “He served the people of Northern Ireland as deputy first minister for nearly a decade and was pivotal in bringing the republican movement towards a position of using peaceful and democratic means.”

“In recent years his contribution helped build the relative peace we now enjoy,” Ms Foster said.

“While our differing backgrounds and life experiences inevitably meant there was much to separate us, we shared a deep desire to see the devolved institutions working to achieve positive results for everyone.  I know that he believed that the institutions were the basis for building stability.

 

She described Mr McGuinness as a “much loved husband, father and grandfather”.

“Today's news will come as a shock to many people.

“My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and the family circle at this very painful time of grief and loss,” she added.

“Martin faced his illness with courage and, after stepping away from the glare of the public spotlight I sincerely hope he got the chance to enjoy the things he loved."

Bill Clinton: 'His word was gold'

Former American president, Bill Clinton said he and his wife Hillary were "saddened" to learn of the death.

"When he decided to fight for peace, Martin was calm, courageous, and direct. And when he gave his word, that was as good as gold.

"As Sinn Fein’s chief negotiator, his integrity and willingness to engage in principled compromise were invaluable in reaching the Good Friday Agreement. In the years that followed, he played an even more important role in ensuring that the peace would last—personally overseeing the arms decommissioning, joining the new government as the first Education Minister, and later serving as Deputy First Minister, and doing it all with a sense of humor and fairness that inspired both his friends and former foes.

"My lasting memory of him will be the pride he took in his efforts to improve disadvantaged schools in Unionist and Protestant communities. He believed in a shared future, and refused to live in the past, a lesson all of us who remain should learn and live by.  May he rest in peace."

John and Pat Hume: 'An indelible print on politics in Ireland'

In a statement, former SDLP leader John Hume and his wife Pat said: “Martin McGuinness left an indelible print on politics in Ireland. Our starting points on the approach to finding a solution to the divisions on this island were very different but there can be no doubt Martin was deeply committed to the agreed Ireland of the Good Friday Agreement and its power sharing institutions.

"He played a very important role in our peace process and his courageous, generous and gracious gestures as deputy First Minister were offered in a spirit of reconciliation and peace building.

“Our deepest condolences go to his wife Bernie, their children Fiachra, Emmet, Grainne, Fionnuala and the wider family circle.”

Theresa May: 'Defining role in leading republicans from violence'

Mrs May said: "First and foremost, my thoughts are with the family of Martin McGuinness at this sad time.

"While I can 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.

"While we certainly didn’t always see eye-to-eye even in later years, as deputy First Minister for nearly a decade he was one of the pioneers of implementing cross community power sharing in Northern Ireland. He understood both its fragility and its precious significance and played a vital part in helping to find a way through many difficult moments.

"At the heart of it all was his profound optimism for the future of Northern Ireland – and I believe we should all hold fast to that optimism today."

 

Gerry Adams: ‘Passionate republican’

Earlier Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said Mr McGuinness “showed great determination, dignity and humility and it was no different during his short illness.”

“He was a passionate republican who worked tirelessly for peace and reconciliation and for the re-unification of his country.  But above all he loved his family and the people of Derry and he was immensely proud of both.”

James Brokenshire: ‘Passionate and robust in his politics’

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire said Mr McGuinness will be remembered for his contribution to politics in Northern Ireland.

“No-one can doubt the essential role he played in helping to secure the power sharing arrangements and political progress in Northern Ireland,” Mr Brokenshire said.

“Martin’s 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.

“While not forgetting the past, Martin's commitment to reconciliation and understanding across communities was a significant factor.”

He added: “Whilst passionate and robust in his politics, on a personal level I always found Martin to be thoughtful and reflective and appreciated the personal consideration he showed. The importance of family and his home in Derry shone through.”

Michael D. Higgins: 'Unfailing courtesy'

Irish President Michael D. Higgins said: “The world of politics and the people across this island will miss the leadership he gave, shown most clearly during the difficult times of the peace process, and his commitment to the values of genuine democracy that he demonstrated in the development of the institutions in Northern Ireland.

“As President of Ireland, I wish to pay tribute to his immense contribution to the advancement of peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland – a contribution which has rightly been recognised across all shades of opinion.”

 

“His death leaves a gap that will be difficult to fill."

The two men were candidates in the Irish presidential election campaign in 2011.

“As a political colleague of many years, and having participated together in the Presidential election campaign of 2011 that brought us all over Ireland, Sabina and I have appreciated both Martin McGuinness’ warmth and his unfailing courtesy."

Enda Kenny: 'Commitment to peace unwavering'

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: "His passing represents a significant loss, not only to politics in Northern Ireland but to the wider political landscape on this island and beyond.

"Martin will always be remembered for the remarkable political journey that he undertook in his lifetime. Not only did Martin come to believe that peace must prevail, he committed himself to working tirelessly to that end.

"Martin was one of the chief architects of the Good Friday Agreement and he worked resolutely in the years that followed it in pursuit of its full implementation.

"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.

"He strove to make Northern Ireland a better place for everyone, regardless of background or tradition.

"Above all, today is an especially sad day for Martin's family - his wife Bernie, and his children - and for the people of Derry, who held a special place in Martin's heart.

"My deepest sympathies are with all of them at this sad and difficult time."

 

Tony Blair: ‘McGuinness set aside that armed struggle in favour of making peace’

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair said he first met Mr McGuinness in Northern Ireland and “then again shortly after in Downing Street ‎- an historic meeting, between a British PM and the Republican leadership in the Cabinet room where so much Irish history had been made”.

Mr Blair said: “I grew up watching and hearing about the Martin McGuinness who was a leading member of the IRA engaged in armed struggle. I came to know the Martin McGuinness who set aside that armed struggle in favour of making peace.

“There will be some who cannot forget the bitter legacy of the war. And for those who lost loved ones in it that is completely understandable. But for those of us able finally to bring about the Northern Ireland peace agreement, we know we could never have done it without Martin's leadership, courage and quiet insistence that the past should not define the future.”

“Over the years - through the arduous negotiation of the Good Friday Agreement - and for the years after it, I got to know ‎Martin well. We met many, many times and as the trust grew between himself, my team, Gerry Adams and their team, so the discussions became increasingly open, frank and therefore productive.

“By the time that extraordinary day arrived in 2007 after almost a decade of hard work where we could witness the - to my generation - incredible sight of he and Ian Paisley sitting down together in Government, the transition of Martin to reconciliator was complete.”

 

Colum Eastwood: ‘Remarkable journey’

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood also reflected “on Martin’s remarkable journey, made possible by men and women from all traditions across this island who forged a peace process from the fire of a terrible conflict.”

“The loss of Martin McGuinness is a significant moment in the history of this island but it is, first and foremost, a devastating loss to his family, friends and colleagues. Our thoughts are with them now,” he said.

“History will record his political career as a journey – one born in a tradition of violence but, in a testament to Martin’s character, that arrived at his true calling in politics, people and the art of persuasion.

“Those who knew him will know that his warm and affable nature undoubtedly made it easier to reach beyond his own political base. The generosity that he displayed in developing relationships with Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson demonstrated a rare gift that came as much from his personality as his politics. It is that gift which is needed in our politics at this moment.”

Mike Nesbitt: 'Challenging day for victims’

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt said this will be “a very challenging day for victims of the Troubles”.

“I believe no-one needed to die to get Northern Ireland to where it is today. Clearly Martin McGuinness very actively disagreed with that analysis, but I also accept in his later years he was on a journey to create change through politics, becoming a pivotal figure at Stormont.

 Mr Nesbitt said he found Mr McGuinness “a straight-dealing politician in any engagement I had with him”.

“We must recognise the loss to the McGuinness family and I extend my sympathies to them. Like any family they need time and space to mourn.

“History will reflect a complex life story.”

Naomi Long: 'Grateful’

Alliance leader Naomi Long paid tribute to “the hard work and dedication Martin invested as an MLA and as deputy First Minister to serving not only his constituents, but all of Northern Ireland.”

“Whilst our politics were very different and his past is well documented, the compromises he made, the leadership he demonstrated and his willingness to work with others despite those differences as part of the peace process helped secure the peace we all now enjoy,” she said.

“For that, we are grateful and our best tribute to him would be to do all in our power to secure that peace and progress for future generations.”

Chief Constable George Hamilton: 'Martin McGuinness believed in a better future'

Mr Hamilton said: "I was saddened to hear of the death of former Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness. I extend the sympathies of the Police Service to his wife and family at this sad time.

"Our society suffered grievously throughout our troubled history; and many police officers and their families are among those who suffered.

"But Martin McGuinness believed in a better future for our community; and this is a vision shared by policing.

"Martin’s journey in life challenges all of us who care about the future; to be prepared to change; to demonstrate leadership; and to work to understand the world, not just from our own perspective, but from the perspectives of everyone in our community."

Civil Service head Sir Malcolm McKibbin: 'Loss acutely felt by Stormont staff'

"It is with sadness that I have learnt of the death of former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness," he said.

"Although his recent health issues were well documented this news will still come as a shock to many people.

"Martin was always very supportive and courteous to me as head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service and he was tireless in his efforts to improve the workings of the devolved institution.

"There will be many tributes paid by political leaders both at home and abroad today, but Martin's loss will also be acutely felt by his support staff who worked closely with him here in Stormont Castle.

"Martin was hugely appreciative of all their efforts and regardless of what was in the diary for the day, Martin always made time for them.

"I extend my condolences to his wife Bernie, his children, grandchildren and the wider McGuinness family."


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