Europe

The Latest: Ex-Irish PM hails McGuinness' transformation

  • Bernie McGuinness, center, looks at the coffin of her husband Martin as she waits to bring his body back to their home in the bogside area of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March, 21, 2017. Martin McGuinness, the Irish Republican Army warlord who led his underground, paramilitary movement toward reconciliation with Britain, and was Northern Ireland's deputy first minister for a decade in a power-sharing government, has died, his Sinn Fein party announced Tuesday on Twitter. He was 66.(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

    Bernie McGuinness, center, looks at the coffin of her husband Martin as she waits to bring his body back to their home in the bogside area of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March, 21, 2017. Martin McGuinness, the Irish Republican Army warlord who led his underground, paramilitary movement toward reconciliation with Britain, and was Northern Ireland's deputy first minister for a decade in a power-sharing government, has died, his Sinn Fein party announced Tuesday on Twitter. He was 66.(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)  (The Associated Press)

  • Emmett and Fiachra McGuinness carry the coffin of their father Martin through the bogside area of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March, 21, 2017. Martin McGuinness, the Irish Republican Army warlord who led his underground, paramilitary movement toward reconciliation with Britain, and was Northern Ireland's deputy first minister for a decade in a power-sharing government, has died, his Sinn Fein party announced Tuesday on Twitter. He was 66.(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

    Emmett and Fiachra McGuinness carry the coffin of their father Martin through the bogside area of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March, 21, 2017. Martin McGuinness, the Irish Republican Army warlord who led his underground, paramilitary movement toward reconciliation with Britain, and was Northern Ireland's deputy first minister for a decade in a power-sharing government, has died, his Sinn Fein party announced Tuesday on Twitter. He was 66.(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)  (The Associated Press)

  • Friends and family carry the coffin of Martin McGuinness through the bogside area of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March, 21, 2017. Martin McGuinness, the Irish Republican Army warlord who led his underground, paramilitary movement toward reconciliation with Britain, and was Northern Ireland's deputy first minister for a decade in a power-sharing government, has died, his Sinn Fein party announced Tuesday on Twitter. He was 66.(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

    Friends and family carry the coffin of Martin McGuinness through the bogside area of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March, 21, 2017. Martin McGuinness, the Irish Republican Army warlord who led his underground, paramilitary movement toward reconciliation with Britain, and was Northern Ireland's deputy first minister for a decade in a power-sharing government, has died, his Sinn Fein party announced Tuesday on Twitter. He was 66.(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on the death of former IRA commander Martin McGuinness (all times local):

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8:15 a.m.

Former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern says McGuinness "made a journey, if not without historical precedent, then certainly without equal in modern Ireland. It began for a very young man in pursuit of violent struggle. It ended only weeks before his death, after years in office, spent strengthening the peace he worked for and to which his leadership was essential."

Ahern added: "At critical moments during the shared efforts to transform The Troubles into a lasting, stable peace, Martin was a defining factor in effecting those changes."

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8:00 a.m.

Peter Hain, a former British Cabinet member responsible for Northern Ireland, said McGuinness was "absolutely crucial" to the peace process.

Hain says: "Sometimes in the history of conflicts — and, goodness me, the island of Ireland has been involved in centuries of conflict with Britain — you need leaders who can rise above their past and, at that point, Martin McGuinness certainly stood the test and proved to be an indispensable figure."

Hain said he was surprised to learn that McGuinness was a fan of the England cricket team. Hain said: "I realized watching the Ashes series on the television in the corner of my office ...that he actually was following the England cricket team, he knew all the players."