Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness has died at the age of 66, it was announced on Tuesday (21 March). Northern Ireland's former deputy first minister suffered a short illness before passing away in Derry's Altnagelvin Hospital while surrounded by his family.

He stood down from the top post in January 2017 in protest against the Democratic Unionist Party 's handling of an energy scandal that led to a snap election. McGuinness did not stand for re-election.

The former IRA leader turned peacemaker had been at the centre of the power-sharing government following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, becoming the deputy first minister in 2007.

It is believed that the Irish republican had a rare genetic disease caused by abnormal protein - amyloid - in tissues and organs.

In confirming his death, his closest political ally and current Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams said: "Throughout his life, Martin showed great determination, dignity and humility and it was no different during his short illness.

"He was a passionate republican who worked tirelessly for peace and reconciliation and for the reunification of his country."

Martin McGuinness
Northern Ireland's former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness pictured at Stormont Castle in November 2016. Reuters