Martin McGuinness, terrorist godfather and the Queen's Minister

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The Queen is to send a private letter of condolence to the widow of Martin McGuinness, it was revealed today.

Whilst alluding to his past numerous tributes from key figures in politics and wider society highlighted his part in the peace process.

"However, Mr McGuinness was very fortunate as he was able to live a full life, unlike my sister, unlike 20 other victims and unlike so many other thousands of other people who were murdered".

McGuinness played a central role in the power-sharing government in Northern Ireland following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said Martin McGuinness's legacy was "complex and challenging".

McGuinness never apologized for being in the IRA, or for actions he took, and those actions certainly led to the deaths of many people.

"Martin will always be remembered for the remarkable political journey that he undertook in his lifetime".

"Martin remained a deeply committed republican leader to the very end and he will continue to guide us in the time ahead as we build a United and a genuine republic based on equality and social justice".

"The world of politics and people across this island will miss the leadership he gave, shown most clearly during the hard time of the peace process, and his commitment to the values of genuine democracy that he demonstrated in the development of the institutions in Northern Ireland", he said. It has even been claimed that he became a British agent, although those pushing the allegation have largely been former IRA members opposed to the settlement in Northern Ireland.

Carthy, who is now in Washington on a European Parliament delegation confirmed that he will be leaving early in order to make Martin's wake and funeral.

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He was a former member of the IRA's army council and worked as Sinn Fein's chief negotiator during the peace process.

"He strove to make Northern Ireland a better place for everyone, regardless of background or tradition".

McGuinness' road from conflict to peace inspired a number of surprising offers of gratitude.

McGuinness had been accused of being present at the interrogation in 1986 of Frank Hegarty, an IRA informer who was later found shot in the back of the head.

The Sinn Fein stalwart is survived by his wife Bernie and four children.

As a senior commander in the Provisional IRA for many years, there is no doubt there was blood on his hands. "I'm so sorry you never got the answers you deserved". The struggle came first always.

"I am an unapologetic Irish republican and I value very much the contribution Queen Elizabeth has made to the peace process and to reconciliation", he said after what turned out to be his final meeting with her.

"I don't forgive Martin nor the IRA", Parry said.

"He deserves great credit for his most recent life".