The Taoiseach Enda Kenny has paid tribute to Martin McGuinness as one of the “chief architects of the Good Friday Agreement”.
He said he strove to make the North a better place for everyone regardless of background.
Mr. Kenny sent his condolences to Mr. McGuinness’ family and the people of Derry upon learning of his death this morning.
“I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Martin McGuinness today. His passing represents a significant loss, not only to politics in Northern Ireland but to the wider political landscape on this island and beyond,” he said.
“Martin will always be remembered for the remarkable political journey that he undertook in his lifetime.
“Not only did Martin come to believe that peace must prevail, he committed himself to working tirelessly to that end.
“Martin was one of the chief architects of the Good Friday Agreement and he worked resolutely in the years that followed it in pursuit of its full implementation,” he added.
The Taoiseach said he had the privilege of working with Mr. McGuinness over the past number of years and was always impressed by his tireless commitment to peace.
He said: “I got to know Martin well in recent years, including through our working together in the North South Ministerial Council.
“His commitment to securing enduring peace and prosperity for all of the people of Northern Ireland was unwavering throughout this time. He strove to make Northern Ireland a better place for everyone, regardless of background or tradition.
“Above all, today is an especially sad day for Martin’s family - his wife Bernie, and his children - and for the people of Derry, who held a special place in Martin’s heart.
“My deepest sympathies are with all of them at this sad and difficult time.”