FORMER SDLP Leader and Nobel Laureate John Hume has paid tribute to the life and work of former Tánaiste Peter Barry ahead of his funeral today.
Mr Hume said that his prolonged commitment not only to securing the Anglo Irish Agreement, but to its faithful implementation and adherence was a source of strength for all those who stood against violence.
He said: “We are all incredibly saddened by the passing of Peter Barry. Peter was a constant companion to the North throughout our most challenging times as we walked the treacherous path to peace.
!Implacable in his opposition to all forms of violence and injustice, he will long be remembered in this island’s story as a man of great courage and courtesy.
“It was not just Peter’s work on negotiating the Anglo Irish Agreement that distinguished him but also his commitment to its faithful implementation and adherence.
“He keenly understood that historic handshakes marked the beginning, not the conclusion, of our challenges.
“Hard headed and sure footed in his political dealings, Peter always demonstrated a personally gracious manner that left him a friend to many.
“He brought a real empathy to his engagement on the North alongside and a critical determination to lay the groundwork for peaceful progress.
“Peter’s passing is a moment of sadness for all those who worked with him.
“We pass on our deepest sympathies to his friends and family at this difficult time and hope that they can be comforted in some way by the knowledge that his character and contribution helped foster lasting peace on this island,” added Mr Hume.