#OTD in 2017 – Death of Martin McGuinness, a former IRA commander and Sinn Fein political leader who helped negotiate peace in Northern Ireland after decades of sectarian violence, and became a senior official in its power-sharing government.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

Martin McGuinness, former IRA chief of staff and a key figure in the Northern Ireland peace process, died just two months after stepping down as deputy first minister. The 66-year-old Irish republican died after a short illness in Derry’s Altnagelvin hospital surrounded by his family. He had a rare genetic disease caused by deposits of abnormal protein – amyloid – in tissues and organs.

Gerry Adams, his closest political ally, confirmed that McGuinness died. Adams said: “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 reunification of his country.” Adams later visited McGuinness’s family in the Bogside area of Derry.

As a tricolour flag flew at half-mast near Free Derry Corner, a landmark denoting a nationalist area of the city, tributes and reactions were swiftly…

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