David Trimble, the inaugural first minister of Northern Ireland and former Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) leader, died at the age of 77.
“It is with great sadness that the family of Lord Trimble announced that he passed away peacefully earlier today following a short illness,” the UUP said in a statement.
Trimble was the first person to serve in the role of the first minister and he was a crucial unionist architect of the Good Friday Agreement, a historic peace deal between nationalists and republicans that ended the worst of the troubles in Northern Ireland.
Trimble won the Nobel peace prize, along with Social Democratic and Labor Party leader John Hume, for his role in the negotiations for the agreement.
Trimble led the UUP between 1995 and 2005.
In 2006, Trimble accepted a life peerage in the House of Lords as Baron Trimble of Lisnagarvey.
“David Trimble was a man of courage and vision. He chose to grasp the opportunity for peace when it presented itself and sought to end the decades of violence that blighted his beloved Northern Ireland,” current UUP leader Doug Beattie said in a tribute.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin also paid tribute, saying that he was “deeply saddened” by the news and described Trimble as “someone who played a crucial and courageous role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland.”
Outgoing United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Trimble “a giant of British and international politics.”
“David’s legacy and achievements will never be forgotten by the people of the United Kingdom,” Johnson added.
Trimble is survived by his wife Daphne and their four children.
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