Who is Martin McGuinness?
Martin McGuinness was an Irish politician who served as the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland from 2007-2017. McGuinness announced in January of 2017 that he would not seek re-election to the Northern Ireland Assembly due to ill health; he was suffering from amyloidosis, a condition that attacks the vital organs. He died two months later, on March 17, at the age of sixty six. James Martin Pacelli McGuinness was born on May 23, 1950, in Derry, Northern Ireland. He attended St. Eugene’s Primary School and later the Christian Brothers technical college but left school at the age of fifteen. McGuinness joined the IRA and at the age of twenty one, he was second-in-command of the IRA in Derry. He was in a leadership position at the time of Bloody Sunday, when fourteen civil rights protesters were killed in the city by soldiers.
An official inquiry concluded that McGuinness was participating in paramilitary activity at the time of Bloody Sunday but there was insufficient evidence to make any finding other to say he did not provide the soldiers any justification for opening fire. Martin McGuinness married Bernadette Canning in 1974; the couple had four children, two boys and two girls. He was a member of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart, an international organization for Roman Catholics that abstain from using alcohol.