James Martin Pacelli McGuinness (23 May 1950 – 21 March 2017) was an Irish politician who was the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland until his resignation on 9 January 2017. He was born in Derry, Northern Ireland. He was a member of Sinn Fein, which is a political party that wants Northern Ireland to join with the Republic of Ireland and leave the United Kingdom. He was the Member of Parliament and Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for the constituency of Mid Ulster.
Martin McGuiness joined the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in 1970 and was put in prison for six months in 1973. He was elected the Member of Parliament for Mid-Ulster at the 1997 General Election but never took his seat in the House of Commons. This is because Sinn Fein members do not want to swear any oath to the Queen.
McGuiness was one of Sinn Fein's top debaters at the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 and was elected as a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1998 for the constituency of Mid Ulster. He was the Minister of Education in the Northern Ireland executive from 1999 to 2002. On 8 May 2007, following the St. Andrew's Agreement Martin McGuiness was made the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland. Ian Paisley of the Democratic Unionist Party was the First Minister until June 5, 2008 when he was replaced by Peter Robinson.
In January 2017, it was revealed that McGuinness was suffering from amyloidosis, a rare genetic disease that affects the vital organs. He died in a hospital in Londonderry on 21 March 2017 from the disease, aged 66.
- "Martin McGuinness is battling rare genetic disease and 'could have just six years to live'". The Sun. 13 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
- "Martin McGuinness slams Irish Times for revealing medical diagnosis". IrishCentral. 13 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
- "Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness dies aged 66". BBC. Retrieved 21 March 2017.