The Latest: Ex-Irish PM hails McGuinness' transformation

FILE - This is a Sunday, Feb. 1, 1998 file photo of Martin McGuinness, the Sinn Fein Chief Negotiator, left, and Sinn Fein's president

FILE - This is a Monday, Jan. 10, 2005, file photo of Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness as he speaks to the media outside his party office

FILE - This is a Friday, Oct. 28, 2011 file photo of Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness as he waves to the media while waiting to hear the

FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2016 file photo, Northern Ireland's deputy First minister Martin McGuinness arrives to Downing Street, for a me

In this Sept. 29, 2010 photo, Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, right, is accompanied by former U.S. Preside

FILE - This is a Friday, Dec. 7, 2007 file photo of President Bush, center, as he meets with Ian Paisley, Ireland's first minister, lef

FILE - This is a Monday, June 16, 2008 file photo of U.S. President George W. Bush, center, First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Ro

FILE - This is a Monday, Jan. 16, 2017 file photo of former deputy Northern Ireland First Minister Martin McGuinness, centre, as he ar

DUBLIN (AP) — 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."