David Trimble is commended at funeral service

David Trimble’s remains are removed from the church after the funeral service.
Photo by RollingNews.ie.

President Michael D. Higgins, Taoiseach Micheál Martin and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have attended the funeral of former First Minister of Northern Ireland David Trimble.

At the funeral service at Harmony Hill Presbyterian Church in Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Rev. Dr. Charles McMullen, Mr Trimble, one of the architects of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, helped forge peace in Northern Ireland but at a personal cost.

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“As so many have said over the past few days, even when life has brought many unrelenting hardships and demands, history will be extraordinarily kind to David.

“He was a dedicated family man and as I sat with Daphne, his daughters Victoria and Sarah, sons Richard and Nicholas over the past few days, I have been deeply touched and moved by so many stories, all of which underscored how much loved he was with you,

“They gave it to us and we would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest appreciation.”

The former Ulster Unionist leader later sat in the House of Lords.

Rev. McMullen recalled Mr Trimble’s Nobel Peace Prize speech to John Hume following the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

“In that speech, David made this inspirational comment. “The dark shadow we seem to see in the distance is not actually a mountain in front of us, but the shadow of the mountain behind – a shadow from the past cast into our future. It’s a dark mud of historical sectarianism. We can leave it behind if we want. But both communities have to move on because both created it.’

“It’s a very powerful quote because it reminds us of the achievements of the Good Friday Agreement, putting the consent principle at the heart of our politics and eventually abolishing the gun.

“It also reminds us that although we are on a journey down memory lane, the mountain still casts a shadow and we are all recovering sectarians to a greater or lesser extent.

“Today, as a fitting tribute to one of the greats, can we use this service to redouble our efforts on this island, our home?”

Mr Trimble (77) died last week after falling ill. His last public appearance was at Queen’s University in Belfast last month at the unveiling of his portrait by artist Colin Davidson, where he appeared physically frail. Also present that day was former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, who spoke on the occasion in which he described Mr. Trimble as a “passionate and determined peacemaker.”

Ahern also attended his funeral on Monday. Also among the mourners were former Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams and DUP Chairman Jeffrey Donaldson.

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