TRIBUTES have been paid to former Northern Ireland first minister David Trimble who died on Monday at the age of 77 following a short illness.
Mr Trimble led the Ulster Unionist Party from 1995 to 2005 and won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role as a key architect of the Good Friday Agreement that ended three decades of conflict in Ireland.
Former British prime minister John Major said that Mr Trimble’s “brave and principled change of policy” was critical to peace in Northern Ireland.
“He thoroughly merits an honourable place among peacemakers,” he said.
Former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams expressed his “deep regret” at the death Mr Trimble.
“In the years immediately following the agreement, I met David many times. Our conversations were not always easy but we made progress.
“We used to meet quite often on our own and I got to know him quite well. While we held fundamentally different political opinions on the way forward, nonetheless I believe he was committed to making the peace process work.
“David’s contribution to the Good Friday Agreement and to the quarter century of relative peace that followed cannot be underestimated,” he said.
Mr Trimble is survived by wife Daphne, daughters Victoria and Sarah and sons Richard and Nicholas.