Nicola Sturgeon pays tribute to ‘brave work’ of Martin McGuinness

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Nicola Sturgeon paid tribute to the former deputy first minister of Northern Ireland after he died aged 66.

The First Minister released a statement on Tuesday saying that without Martin McGuinness’ “hard and brave work to bridge the divide” that “peace would not have been achieved” in Northern Ireland.

Nicola Sturgeon listens as her Bexit Minister Michael Russell speaks during the Scottish Parliament debate on the triggering of Article 50 (Photo: PA)

Nicola Sturgeon listens as her Bexit Minister Michael Russell speaks during the Scottish Parliament debate on the triggering of Article 50 (Photo: PA)

Ms Sturgeon said she got to know Mr McGuinness recently through their work in the British Irish Council and the Joint Ministerial Committee.

“Martin will be remembered for his commitment, alongside that of Ian Paisley, to bringing peace and reconciliation to Northern Ireland,” Ms Sturgeon said.

READ MORE: Martin McGuinness, ex-Northern Ireland deputy FM, dies at 66

“He grew up in Northern Ireland’s troubled past - but without his hard and brave work to bridge the divide, peace would not have been achieved.

“I had the opportunity in recent years to get to know Martin through our work in the British Irish Council and Joint Ministerial Committee - his deep understanding of both the importance and fragility of the peace process, and also his optimism for the future, was obvious to all.

“While he had been unwell for a few months, his untimely death will still come as a shock to many and my thoughts and sympathies are with his wife, wider family and friends.”

More to follow.