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Former IRA Chief Martin McGuinness Dies at 66

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Former Irish Republican Army chief of staff Martin McGuinness has died at the age of 66, after a short battle with a rare genetic disease, his family said. McGuinness became a key figure in establishing peace in Northern Ireland after years of involvement with the paramilitary organization. He stepped down as deputy first minister just two months ago. “Throughout his life, Martin showed great determination, dignity, and humility and it was no different during his short illness,” said Gerry Adams, president of the Sinn Féin political party. “He was a passionate republican who worked tirelessly for peace and reconciliation and for the reunification of his country.” Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said, “For those of us able finally to bring about the Northern Ireland peace agreement, we know we could never have done it without Martin’s leadership, courage, and quiet insistence that the past should not define the future.” Others refuse to forget his violent past. Lord Tebbit, whose wife was paralyzed in an IRA attack, said: “He’ll be parked in a particularly hot and unpleasant corner of hell for the rest of eternity.”

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