Hillary and I were saddened to learn of the death of Martin McGuinness, who devoted his life to his beloved Northern Ireland. When he decided to fight for peace, Martin was calm, courageous, and direct. And when he gave his word, that was as good as gold. As Sinn Fein’s chief negotiator, his integrity and willingness to engage in principled compromise were invaluable in reaching the Good Friday Agreement. In the years that followed, he played an even more important role in ensuring that the peace would last—personally overseeing the arms decommissioning, joining the new government as the first Education Minister, and later serving as Deputy First Minister, and doing it all with a sense of humor and fairness that inspired both his friends and former foes. My lasting memory of him will be the pride he took in his efforts to improve disadvantaged schools in Unionist and Protestant communities. He believed in a shared future, and refused to live in the past, a lesson all of us who remain should learn and live by. May he rest in peace.
March 21, 2017
Statement from President Clinton on the Passing of Martin McGuinness