Former Northern Ireland Prime Minister and Nobel Laureate David Trimble dies

Former Northern Ireland Prime Minister and Nobel Laureate David Trimble dies

Former Northern Ireland Prime Minister David Trimble died Monday at the age of 77. Pictured is attending the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement at Queen's University Belfast in 2018.

The former Prime Minister of Northern Ireland and Nobel Peace Prize laureate David Trimble died Monday at the age of 77 after a short illness. He worked for reconciliation between Protestants and Catholics in the British Province.

It is with great sadness that the family of Lord Trimble announces that he passed away earlier today, the Ulster Unionist Party (UPP) wrote in a statement on behalf of his family.

< p class="e-p">William David Trimble was born on October 15, 1944 in Bangor, in the east of the British province of Northern Ireland. He graduated with a law degree in 1968 from Queen's University Belfast, where he later taught.

His political career began in the 1970s when he joined the unionist Vanguard Party, close to the paramilitaries. David Trimble then joined the UPP in 1978 and took over as its leader in 1995, five years after serving his first term as a Member of Parliament in London.

In 1997, Following the ceasefire with the Irish Republican Army (IRA), Mr Trimble was the first Unionist official to enter into dialogue with Sinn Fein, the political arm of the IRA.

< p class="e-p">The following year, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts with Catholic leader John Hume to find a peaceful solution to the troubles that rocked Northern Ireland and left more than 3,500 people dead. And it was his contribution to the Good Friday Peace Agreement with John Hume that won the Nobel Prize.

In 1998, co-winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, David Trimble, left, and John Hume, right, are received in Oslo. The award recognizes their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the troubles that have rocked Northern Ireland for three decades.

Once the peace accord that capped months of negotiations was signed, Mr. Trimble tried to convince the Unionists to accept the historic compromise. He shook hands with lead singer of Irish rock band U2 Bono, then John Hume's during a peace concert in Belfast. This contributed to the victory of the yes side in the referendum on the Good Friday Agreement.

David Trimble led the first power-sharing government to emerge from this agreement – ​​and which ended more than three decades of clashes between the Republicans (Catholics) in favor of the reunification of Ireland and the Unionists ( Protestants) who defended the maintenance of the province of Northern Ireland within the British Crown.

However, the sharing of power proved difficult. The issue of disarmament of the IRA – which came into force in 2005 – led to the suspension of regional institutions on four occasions, as well as their complete suspension in October 2002.

It has suffered a bitter defeat in the British general elections in 2005, and he then joined the Conservative Party and the House of Lords.

Mr Trimble, a staunch Brexit supporter, last year attacked the Northern Irish Protocol which was to govern relations between the UK province and the Republic of Ireland – a member of the European Union.

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Boris Johnson paid tribute to David Trimble, a giant of international and British politics.

David was a great figure, who was instrumental in bringing about the [Good Friday] agreement and in creating the Northern Ireland of today. My thoughts are with his family, also commented on Twitter the head of British diplomacy and candidate for the succession of Boris Johnson, Liz Truss.

David Trimble outside the Ulster Unionist Party (UPP) headquarters in Belfast (Archives)

Deeply saddened by the death of David Trimble, someone who played a crucial and courageous role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland, Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin reacted on Twitter.

David Trimble was a man of courage and vision. He chose to seize the opportunity for peace when it presented itself and sought to end the decades of violence that plagued his beloved Northern Ireland, the leader said. of the Ulster Unionist Party, Doug Beattie.

Sinn Fein Vice President Michelle O'Neill sent her condolences to the family of Mr. Trimble. His very significant contribution to the peace process and his courage to help bring about the Good Friday Agreement leaves a legacy a quarter of a century later that he and his family can be proud of, she wrote. on Twitter.

With information from Agence France-Presse

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