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File: Martin McGuinness 2009. The health of Martin McGuinness, the former deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, is seriously deteriorating, reports have suggested.<br />
As talks aimed at restoring Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government got under way in Belfast, sources in McGuinness’s native Derry confirmed a story in Monday’s Irish News which said he had been in hospital for the last two weeks.<br />
McGuinness, who was Sinn Féin’s chief negotiator during the peace process, announced his retirement from politics at a press conference in January where he appeared frail. It is understood he has a rare condition that attacks the heart and other vital organs.<br />
The 66-year-old made no appearances during Sinn Féin’s successful assembly election last week and did not attend his local polling station with his wife, Bernie, to vote. Photo/Paul McErlane