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Good Friday Agreement architect David Trimble dies at 77

David Trimble was a leader in Northern Ireland, who reached a historic peace deal with Catholic rivals to protect the Protestant population. He died on Monday, 25 July. His family announced this news on Monday.

Trimble was the first Minister of Northern Ireland to be elected to the power-sharing government established by the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. This agreement was a key architect of peace after nearly three decades of bloodshed.

His family said that he passed away peacefully following a short illness.


Ex-President Bill Clinton said in a statement that he made difficult decisions during negotiations because he believed future generations should be free from violence and hatred. He described Trimble’s leadership qualities as one of vision, courage, and principle.

John Hume, an Irish nationalist and Trimble shared the Nobel prize in 1998. They ended violence that had claimed 3,600 lives between Catholic nationalists seeking unity in Ireland and probi-British Catholics wanting to remain in Britain.

Micheal Martin, the Irish Prime Minster, stated that Trimble’s Nobel speech to “politicians possible” summarized the Northern Irishman’s achievements over many decades and difficult situations that culminated in the “crucial” and “courageous role he played during peace negotiations.

Boris Johnson, British Prime Minster, stated that he was a “giant of British and International Politics” and praised him for his determination to improve politics and for defending democracy over violence.


Trimble was a barrister by training and preferred academia to the courtroom. In 1974, Trimble became a hardline politician and his first venture into Northern Irish politics. In an agreement that predated the 1998 accord, he helped defeat early attempts to power-sharing.

In the late 1970s, he joined the mainstream Ulster Unionist Party and was eventually forced to join the negotiations that resulted in the Good Friday Agreement. Many Protestants viewed him as a traitor for his actions.

Half of the deaths occurred because Gerry Adams (ex-leader of Sinn Fein), was responsible for the political wing that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) was. Trimble’s contribution is “unprecognised”

David had to face many challenges during his leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party in the Good Friday Agreement negotiations. However, he persuaded the party to accept it. He supported the Agreement which is a credit. Trimble’s ex-political foe said in a statement, “I thank him for that.”

Others pointed out the political price Trimble and his party incurred in defeats by hardline unionists. Trimble, the UUP leader, resigned as a result and took up a peerage at The House of Lords in Britain one year later. He sat in that position until his death.

He supported Britain’s decision to not join the European Union and was vocally against post-Brexit trade barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK that have created a new divide between unionist and nationist politicians.

Simon Coveney, the Irish Foreign Ministry, stated that all those who followed Trimble share a responsibility to continue building upon the society he built.

Tony Blair, an ex-Prime Minister of Britain, stated that Blair’s contribution was “immeasurable”, indelible and, quite simply, irreplaceable”.

“We have lost today our friend and foe, who will be deeply missed.”

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