SINN Féin chief Martin McGuinness has paid tribute to Father Gerry Reynolds who died today following a short illness.
He was aged 78 and passed away at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.
The Redemptorist priest was regarded as a key figure in bringing about the peace process which led to the first IRA ceasefire in August 1994.
He was also instrumental in setting up the Hume/Adams talks in the late 1980s.
Martin McGuinness said today:
“I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Father Gerry Reynolds.
“He was a gentle peacemaker, a man of great humility and selflessness who did incredible work along with Fr Alec Reid in Clonard Monastery and with peacemakers from the Protestant Churches to help bring about a transformation in our society.
“We owe them all a debt of gratitude and I would like to extend my sincerest condolences to Fr Gerry’s family, and to his colleagues in the Redemptorist Order.”