Laois Sinn Fein TD Brian Stanley has paid tribute to his party colleague Martin McGuinness who passed away this morning in hospital in his native Derry.
“Martin McGuinness was the major mover to bring an end to conflict in the North.
“Knowing him over the years – over three decades – it’s a very sad day. He was one of the most decent honest individuals that I ever met.
“(He was) totally selfless and totally given of himself. It’s a sad day for his wife Bernie and his children and grandchildren. But also a loss for us in the Republican movement.”
“It is a sad loss. It is a loss to his family, to his community and obviously to Ireland. He was a wonderful leader and a man of great integrity. He had great humility and was a very modest individual but he played a massive role in moving politics forward on this island,” Deputy Stanley said.
Deputy Stanley said he knew Mr McGuinness for thirty years.
“He was of the view that political representation had to be for the whole of Ireland, throughout the 32 counties. He was really a proponent of that.
“If he led from the front in conflict, he certainly led from the front in peace and making reconcilliation happen. He was an enormous individual,” Deputy Stanley said.