File - This is a Sunday Aug. 10, 1997 file photo of Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, left, and President Gerry Adams, right, address a crowd of republicans outside the Belfast City Hall, Northern Ireland. (AP Photo/ Paul McErlane)
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Martin McGuinness, the Irish Republican Army commander who laid down his arms to become a key architect of Northern Ireland's peace, died Tuesday at age 66, prompting tributes from allies and former enemies alike.The face of Irish Republicanism during some of the worst moments of three decades of sectarian bloodshed that killed more than 3,600 people, McGuinness remained a figure of hate for many pro-British Protestants until his death.Following the IRA's second cease-fire in 1997, McGuinness became Sinn Fein's chief negotiator in peace talks that led to the landmark 1998 Good Friday peace accord.Former conservative minister Norman Tebbit, whose wife was badly injured in an IRA blast in 1984, said that the world was "a sweeter place" without McGuinness, who he described as a coward posing as a man of peace.McGuinness leaves Northern Ireland at peace and his dream of a united Ireland is inching closer under a new generation although Northern Irish politics is still divided.One former rival said McGuinness' negotiating skills would be sorely missed.
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