A Roman Catholic he was elected as a Sinn Fein MP but in line with his party’s abstentionist policy he refused to take his seat in Westminster. Elected to the Northern Ireland Parliament he has been both a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and Sinn Fein. While as an IRA member, Bloody Sunday occurred with the deaths of fourteen civilians. He spent time in prison for his republican military activities and he first ran for the Presidency of Ireland in ?
Both sets of facts are true when applied to Martin McGuinness of Eamon DeValera.
DeValera was elected MP for East Clare in 1917, McGuinness for Mid Ulster in 1997. DeValera was elected to the then Northern Ireland Parliament for South Down in 1933-1938, McGuinness was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly 1998. Although not directly involved Bloody Sunday for DeValera was the fourteen civilians who died in the attack on Croke Park and for Martin McGuinness it was the unlawful killing of 14 civilians by the British Army in Derry in 1972. DeValera was jailed on a number of occasions including being the last ever prisoner in Kilmainham Jail while McGuinness served time in 1974 at Portlaoise Prison. Both men were avid GAA fans and while DeValera was a teacher, Martin McGuinness served as Minister for Education in Northern Ireland.