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Doug Beattie, the leader of the UUP, paid tribute to Lord Trimble, saying his death would cause “deep sadness” across Northern Ireland and far beyond.

“David Trimble was a man of courage and vision. He chose to seize the opportunity for peace when it presented itself and sought to end the decades of violence that ruined his beloved Northern Ireland,” he said.

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

“The bravery and courage he showed while battling his recent illness was typical of the qualities he displayed throughout his political career, at Stormont and at Westminster.

“He will be remembered as prime minister, as a peer of the realm and as a Nobel laureate. 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 pass on my deepest condolences to his wife Lady Trimble and their children, Richard, Victoria, Sarah and Nicholas.”

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