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David Trimble, a former Northern Ireland politician, has died at the age of 77. Trimble won the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize with John Hume for his role in ending the Civil War in Northern Ireland.
“It is with great sadness that the family of Lord Trimble announced his peaceful passing earlier today after a short illness,” said a family statement distributed by the Ulster Unionist Party.
Trimble was born in 1944 in Bangor, near Belfast. Before entering politics, he taught at Queen’s University School of Law in Belfast. He left academia in 1990 to enter politics.
Trimble led the Protestant UUP between 1995 and 2005, and played a pivotal role in bringing about the Good Friday Accords in 1998. This ended decades of bloody struggles between Northern Irish Catholics who wanted to join Ireland and Protestants who were loyalists in London. Trimble became the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland in 1998 and remained so until October 2002.
Since 2006 he has been in the Senate for the Conservative Party. Irish Prime Minister Michel Martin said he was “deeply saddened” by the death and described Trimble as someone who played a “decisive and courageous role” in bringing peace. The current leader of the UUP describes him as a “political giant”.
Trimble was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with John Hume, leader of the Catholic Social Democratic Labor Party. Hume passed away in 2020.