An Taoiseach Enda Kenny has paid tribute to Martin McGuinness as a “champion” of the Peace Process.
Mr Kenny said that Mr McGuinness has been on a remarkable political journey and has shown a firm commitment to delivering a peaceful society.
Mr Kenny was speaking following Martin McGuinness’ announcement that he is to retire from frontline politics at the age of 66 due to illness.
Following the announcement, the Taoiseach said:
“I am sorry to learn that Martin McGuinness has decided not to contest the forthcoming election due to his poor health.
“While Martin and I may not always have seen eye-to-eye on every issue, I readily acknowledge the remarkable political journey that he has undertaken.
“I know that Martin remains firmly committed to delivering a peaceful and prosperous society for all of the people of Northern Ireland.
“He was one of the key architects of the Good Friday Agreement, and a tireless and committed champion of the Peace Process.”
Mr Kenny added that he “appreciated working closely with Martin in recent years”, including in particular in the work of the North South Ministerial Council.
“I wish Martin and his family well for the future and I hope that his health will now be his absolute priority in the time ahead,” he added.