His whole political life was dedicated to unification of Ireland, to ending Britain's colony in the North and to building an Ireland of equals, fighting discrimination. Like most of those who struggle to achieve historic aims, he never lived to see them. But he made an invaluable contribution to them and brought them significantly closer.
Martin had many great attributes. One was his remarkable ability to combine a very great personal warmth with an unyielding focus on key political aims. He displayed the utmost tactical flexibility in pursuit of a central unchanging strategic aim of reuniting Ireland. He was a genuine revolutionary leader, displaying personal bravery, an openness to the ideas of others, a willingness to forge new alliances with other political forces and acute tactical sense.
It is a mark of his success that in death even political opponents compared him to other great revolutionary leaders such as Nelson Mandela. It is his legacy that the prospects for a united Ireland have never been more favourable since Partition. But in the difficult struggles ahead, his wisdom and determination will be sorely missed. A great Irish Republican has fallen. RIP.