A STATE Funeral has been held in Dublin for former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds.
Mr. Reynolds, who played a key role in the Northern Ireland peace process, passed away on Thursday (August 21) aged 81.
The former Fianna Fail leader became Taoiseach in 1992 and served for just under three years. The successful businessman had also served in various senior government positions during his rise to become the Premier.
He had pledged that his priority as Taoiseach would be to work towards peace in Northern Ireland. To achieve this he took many political risks, including opening up secret talks with Loyalist paramilitaries.
Working closely with the then Prime Minister, John Major, the two leaders agreed on what became known as The Downing Street Declaration, which was unveiled in London in December, 1993. The Declaration included the guarantee that Northern Ireland could not be transferred to the Republic unless a majority of its citizens were in favour of such a move.
The work carried out by the two Premiers helped bring about the IRA and Loyalist ceasefires in 1994.
Warm tributes were paid to the former Taoiseach from around the world. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said Mr. Reynolds had “worked hard and risked much as Taoiseach to advance the Northern Ireland peace process”.
He added: “His leadership alongside John Major was instrumental in laying the foundation for the Good Friday Agreement, and our world owes him a profound debt of gratitude.”
The State Funeral took place on Monday (August 25) with the Funeral Mass being held in The Sacred Heart Church, Dublin. Mr. Reynolds was buried in Shanganagh Cemetery, Shankill.
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