David Trimble: death announced of former First Minister and UUP leader

Lord Trimble, former First Minister and Ulster Unionist Party leader, has passed away.

Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble pictured in 1998 at a press conference at the Stormont talks at Castle Buildings.
Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble pictured in 1998 at a press conference at the Stormont talks at Castle Buildings.

A statement issued on behalf of his family this evening (July 25) through the UUP said: “It is with great sadness that the family of Lord Trimble announce that he passed away peacefully earlier today following a short illness.”

Current UUP leader Doug Beattie MLA said the news “will cause deep sadness throughout Northern Ireland and much further afield”.

He described David Trimble as “a man of courage and vision”.

Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble, SDLP leader John Hume and Bono of U2 pictured together in 1998 on stage at the Waterfront hall in Belfast this evening for a concert to promote a 'yes' vote in the referendum. Picture Paul Faith / Pacemaker.

“He chose to grasp the opportunity for peace when it presented itself and sought to end the decades of violence that blighted his beloved Northern Ireland.

“He will forever be associated with the leadership he demonstrated in the negotiations that led up to the 1998 Belfast Agreement.

“The bravery and courage he demonstrated whilst battling his recent illness was typical of the qualities he showed in his political career, at Stormont and at Westminster.

“He will be remembered as a First Minister, as a Peer of the Realm and as a Nobel prize winner. He will also be remembered as a great Unionist.

“On behalf of the Ulster Unionist Party, and with a very heavy heart, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to his wife Lady Trimble and his children, Richard, Victoria, Sarah and Nicholas.”

TUV expresses sympathy on the death of Lord Trimble

TUV leader Jim Allister said he was “greatly saddened” to learn of the passing of Lord DTrimble and extended his condolences to Lady Trimble and the family.

“Though politically we fundamentally disagreed over the Belfast Agreement, latterly as joint applicants in the Judicial Review challenge to the Protocol we shared a common determination to rid Northern Ireland of this iniquitous assault on our constitutional position. David had a very clear and correct view of the dangers and unacceptability of the Protocol.

“I have known David and Daphne Trimble since my university days when David was one of my lecturers and Daphne was a fellow student in my law year. As a couple throughout their married life Daphne gave exemplary support to David and in his declining health was a tower of strength to him. So, in losing David, Daphne has suffered a great loss and Northern Ireland has lost a foremost thinker within unionism.”