The late Brendan Duddy has been described as a brave, unsung hero of the peace process, by SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, who has suggested the 1994 IRA ceasefire might not have happened without him.
Mr. Eastwood paid tribute to the Derry businessman following his death this week.
He described him as “one of the North’s silent peacemakers, without whom the road to peace must have been much longer”.
The SDLP leader said: “Brendan Duddy was a member of a brave group of men and women who, for no personal gain or glory, advanced the cause of peace on this island immeasurably.
“His quiet but intensive work was critical to securing the 1994 ceasefire as a precursor to the Good Friday Agreement and, eventually, decommissioning.
“There’s no doubt that the long road to peace would have been all the longer if not for the contribution of people like Brendan Duddy. I want to extend my deepest sympathies to Brendan’s family at this difficult time and I hope they are comforted by the knowledge that his was a life that changed this island’s history.”