The Divisive Martin McGuiness Dies

After announcing he had a rare heart condition the one time IRA commander and deputy first minister of Northern Ireland Marin McGuiness has died.

The former deputy first minister of Northern Ireland and one time IRA commander Martin McGuiness has died, it is understood that he passed away from a heart condition that had recently been diagnosed.

He died at the age of 66 in Derry, Northern Ireland and despite being a very divisive character due to his role as an IRA commander and in later life his role as something of a peacekeeper coupled with his role as deputy first minister of Northern Ireland many leading Politian’s have spoken about the man he became rather than the man he was.

It was during the 1970’s that he rose through the ranks of the IRA, however he then went on to adopt a very important role in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement,  which in later life in his role in Northern Ireland politics he became a legendary character.

Having been second in command of the Provisional IRA he was often described as Britain’s number one terrorist and even though he went on to help bring peace to Northern Ireland as soon as his death was announced social media lit up with opposing views, some people expressing sadness at his death and some rejoicing in it.

One thing that many people will recall about McGuiness was his meeting with the Queen back in Belfast in 2012, she warmly welcome him with a handshake even though the IRA has murdered Lord Mountbatten, the Queens cousin in 1979.

It was in January of this year that he stepped down from his position of deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, the reasons for doing so was not his failing health but due to the DUP’s handling of the cash for ash scandal which went on to force a snap election.

Politian’s from all parties have expressed their sadness at his passing, with his very close friend and the current Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams going on Twitter and tweeting a tribute in Irish which when translated reads “among heroes of Gael he had a faithful soul”.

Despite the expression of sadness expressed by many people there is a large number of people who cannot forgive his role in a large number of bombings throughout Great Britain and many people are delighted at his passing.

However, no matter in which direction your own personal views sway, in his later life and his decision to take to the ballot box rather than by terrorism he and others like him from all political parties did enable a lasting peace to descend on Northern Ireland.

It is expected that his funeral will take place soon and one thing that will be certain, is that there will be a very large number of politicians from both Ireland and the rest of the UK in attendance at his funeral from all political parties.



Published by Elizabeth

A journalist from the South West of England, Elizabeth specialises in writing about politics, health and technology.