He was deputy first minister of Northern Ireland for a decade.
An early election is "highly likely" as a result.
Many British papers and news broadcasts have dwelt insistently on the personal poignancy of this moment for the Queen -- considering the IRA's assassination in 1979 of her relative, Lord Louis Mountbatten, whom she used to call "Uncle Dickie".
The strangest Irish presidential election ever just got a whole Twilight Zone twist when the husband of Dana, alias Rosemary Scallon, a former gospel singer once based in America, claimed she had been the target of an assassination attempt.
With nomination closing on Wednesday the Irish presidential contenders, seven in all, are finally in the starting gate and they include a former IRA leader, a Gay activist and a bible belt singer.