McGuinness, Martin

McGuinness, Martin (James Martin Pacelli McGuinness), 1950–2017, Northern Irish political leader, b. Derry. He joined the Irish Republican Army (IRA) as a young man and was active in both its regular and provisional wings. Convicted of IRA membership by the Republic of Ireland in 1973 and 1974, he served prison terms, then claimed to have left the IRA. As a member of Sinn Féin , McGuinness was elected to the first of four terms in the British parliament in 1997; like other Sinn Féin members, he did not take his seat. He helped negotiate the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which provided for a new Northern Irish assembly and consultation with the Irish Republic on issues of joint interest. He then served (1998–2017) in the assembly, and was minister of education (1999–2002) and deputy first minister (2007–17). McGuinness also ran (2011) unsuccessfully for president of the Irish Republic.

See L. Clarke and K. Johnston, Martin McGuinness (2001).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish History: Biographies