Former IRA commander and deputy first minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuiness has died.

It is believed that the veteran politician, 66, passed away from a rare heart condition.

After rising through the ranks of the IRA during the Troubles in the 1970s, McGuinness later turned peacekeeper and played an important role in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

He became deputy first minister of Northern Ireland in 2007, but stepped down due to his ill health in January this year.

Advertisement

McGuinness' friend and Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has paid tribute to him, tweeting a message in Irish, which said 'among heroes of Gael he had a faithful soul.