Martin McGuinness was an Irish republican politician from Sinn Féin and a leader within the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) during The Troubles. McGuinness was the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland from May 2007 to January 2017.
McGuinness served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Mid Ulster from 1997 until his resignation in 2013. Like all Sinn Féin MPs, McGuinness followed abstentionism in the Westminster Parliament. Working alongside US Special Envoy George Mitchell, McGuinness was also one of the main architects of the Good Friday Agreement which formally cemented the Northern Ireland peace process and established the Northern Ireland Assembly.
In 1998, McGuinness was elected as the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Mid Ulster. He served as Minister of Education in the Northern Ireland Executive under First Minister David Trimble from 1999 to 2002. Following the St Andrews Agreement and the 2007 Northern Ireland Assembly election, he became deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland on 8 May 2007, with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Ian Paisley becoming First Minister. In 2008 and 2016, he was reappointed as deputy First Minister to serve alongside Peter Robinson and Arlene Foster, respectively. He was Sinn Féin's candidate for President of Ireland in the 2011 Irish presidential election.
In the 2016 Northern Ireland Assembly election, McGuinness was elected as the MLA for Foyle. On 9 January 2017, McGuinness resigned as deputy First Minister in protest over the Renewable Heat Incentive scandal. He announced on 19 January that he would not be standing for re-election in the 2017 Northern Ireland Assembly election due to ill health. He reportedly suffered from amyloidosis, a condition that attacks the vital organs, and retired shortly before his death on 21 March 2017, aged 66.