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David Trimble, former prime minister and key architect of the Good Friday Agreement, dies at 77


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David Trimble, a former Northern Ireland prime minister who helped end decades of violence, has died at the age of 77.

The Ulster Unionist Party, which Trimble led from 1995 to 2005, said in a statement that the unionist politician died on Monday “after a short illness”.

Trimble was instrumental in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that ended three decades of violent conflict in Northern Ireland known as “The Troubles”.

The UUP was the largest Protestant unionist party in Northern Ireland when, led by Trimble, it accepted the Good Friday peace deal.

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Although a hard-line trade unionist when he was younger, Trimble became a politician whose compromise efforts became instrumental in uniting unionists and nationalists in Northern Ireland’s new power-sharing government.

Trimble shared the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize with moderate Catholic leader John Hume, head of the Social Democratic and Labor Party, for his work.

FILE: A delighted leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, David Trimble, speaks to the media at a hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on June 16, 2003, after winning a crucial vote with his party on his continued support to the Irish peace process.
(AP Photo/Peter Morrison, File)

Trimble lost his seat in the British Parliament in 2005 and soon after resigned as leader of the party. The following year, he was appointed a member of the upper house of Parliament, the House of Lords. Northern Ireland’s power-sharing has seen many crises since then, but the peace deal has largely endured.

“The Good Friday Agreement is something that everyone in Northern Ireland has been able to agree to,” Trimble said earlier this year. “It doesn’t mean that they agree with everything. There are aspects that some people thought were wrong, but the bottom line is that this was agreed upon.”

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Trimble is survived by his wife Daphne and their children Richard, Victoria, Nicholas and Sarah.

Associated Press contributed to this report.



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