Northern Ireland leader Martin McGuinness dead at 66
Martin McGuinness pictured in Omagh during his bid to become Irish President in 2011.
Martin McGuinness has died at the age of 66.
He did not join the IRA until after the British Army had been sent to Northern Ireland in August 1969 to restore order after a pitched battle between the RUC and people of Bogside.
He also played a key role in forging the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement that largely ended the conflict.
In recent years, he said: "My war is over".
His partnership with the DUP leader as deputy first minister at Stormont was a shining example of peacemaking - of turning swords into plowshares - and in 2009 he dubbed dissident republicans who killed a police officer as traitors to Ireland.
He wished the monarch well in Irish, in a phrase that translates as: "Goodbye and God bless".
McGuinness was born in 1950 in Derry, on the province's northern coast, and grew up in the city when it was riven by sectarian bloodshed.
He was second in command at the time of Bloody Sunday in 1972, when British soldiers shot 26 unarmed republican protesters in Derry, killing 13 of them.
He was convicted by the Republic of Ireland's Special Criminal Court after being arrested near a vehicle containing explosives and ammunition.
But his membership or otherwise of the IRA was irrelevant since he was regarded as having more influence than anyone over the men of violence. He always claimed that he had left the IRA in 1974, but not many people believed him.
"It is with deep regret and sadness that we have learnt of the death of our friend and comrade Martin McGuinness who passed away in Derry during the night", his Sinn Fein party, which is opposed to British rule in Northern Ireland, said in a statement.
A former Provisional IRA commander, Martin McGuinness became a leading figure in Sinn Féin and along with Gerry Adams led the mainstream republican movement into the peace process and subsequent political negotiations.
When a power-sharing government was established in 2007, McGuinness was appointed deputy first minister, working closely with then first minister Ian Paisley, the firebrand Protestant preacher who led the staunchly pro-British DUP.
But he enjoyed more strained relationships with Mr Paisley's successor as First Minister at Stormont, Peter Robinson, as the joint office was embroiled in controversy over property dealings.
McGuinness had said his ill-health, which required a period of absence from his role, was not the reason he resigned but said he was quitting politics to try to recover.
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