Martin McGuinness dies at 66

21st Mar 17 | Entertainment News

Former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has died, aged 66.

The People's Assembly Anti-Austerity March in Central London

His untimely passing was confirmed by his Sinn Fein political party, who released a statement in which they revealed he had died on Tuesday (21Mar17) in Derry after a short illness.

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said after the tragic news was announced: "Throughout his life Martin 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 this country. But above all he loved his family and the people of Derry and he was immensely proud of both."

Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins added in his statement: "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."

McGuinness, who also worked as the Irish Republican Army (IRA) chief of staff, resigned from his role as Deputy First Minister in January (17), after a decade in the role, after First Minister Arlene Foster refused to step down temporarily during an inquiry into a public energy scandal.

That month (Jan17), it was revealed he was suffering from a rare incurable disease amyloidosis, which is caused by deposits of abnormal protein in tissues and organs throughout the body.

He is survived by wife Bernie and four children.

© WENN Newsdesk 2017