The late Martin McGuinness
He was a man who emerged from a background as an IRA leader during the Troubles to become one of the main architects of peace in Northern Ireland - tributes have been paid to the former Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, Martin McGuinness following news of his passing.
Sinn Féin Deputy for Sligo/Leitrim, Martin Kenny expressed the “deep sadness that Leitrim republicans” felt on the news of the death of Mr McGuinness following a short illness.
“Martin will be missed by all who knew him, as an IRA leader, an astute politician, chief negotiator during the peace process and as Deputy First Minister in the North,” Deputy Kenny said in a short statement to the Leitrim Observer.
McGuinness had strong links with Co Leitrim visiting the county numerous times and had a very close relationship with the late John Joe McGirl.
“Throughout his life, he was a passionate republican who fought for his country, who worked for peace and reconciliation and for the achievement of a united Ireland,” noted Deputy Kenny, who extended condolences to Mr McGuinness's family and friends.
President, Michael D Higgins also paid tribute to Martin McGuinness noting: "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.”
Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, said Mr McGuinness' death "represents a significant loss, not only to politics in Northern Ireland, but to the wider political landscape on this island and beyond". Describing the former Deputy First Minister as one of the chief architects of the Good Friday Agreement, Mr Kenny said he "worked resolutely in the years that followed it in pursuit of its full implementation.
"He strove to make Northern Ireland a better place for everyone, regardless of background or tradition".
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