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Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney T.D. on the death of David Trimble

It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of David Trimble.

David Trimble showed leadership at a time when Northern Ireland so badly needed it.  He showed that leadership to end the cycle of violence and create a Northern Ireland where difference was acknowledged and could be overcome through politics and through compromise, instead of through violence and its shadow. 

He sought a Northern Ireland which would be, in his own words, “a normal and decent society, flawed as human beings are flawed.”

He sought not “abstract perfection” but a Northern Ireland that is better than that which preceded the Good Friday Agreement.  He and others succeeded in that.   Now we have a shared responsibility to continue to build on that -  building a better society and polity for the people of Northern Ireland.

My thoughts are with his family, in particular his wife Daphne, as well as his former colleagues in the Ulster Unionist Party and across the wider Unionist community, at this sad time.