Martin McGuinness, IRA Leader And Politician, Dies At 66

He helped broker the agreement that ended Northern Ireland's bloody fight for independence.

Martin McGuinness, IRA Leader And Politician, Dies At 66
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Martin McGuinness, a Northern Ireland politician and former commander in the Ireland Republican Army, has died at the age of 66.

He resigned from his role as the region's deputy first minister earlier this year amid reports that he was suffering from a rare heart condition. He died early Tuesday at a hospital in his hometown of Derry.

McGuinness first rose to prominence as a leader in the paramilitary IRA during the Troubles — Northern Ireland's bloody conflict over independence from the U.K.

"At the end of the day, it'll be the cutting edge of the IRA which will bring freedom," McGuinness told reporters.

McGuinness later left violence behind for politics. He joined the pro-independence Sinn Fein party and helped negotiate the key Good Friday agreement to form a stable power-sharing government.

He is survived by his wife, Bernie, and their four children and grandchildren.