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Tributes paid on the death of 'secret peacemaker' Brendan Duddy

The Derry businessman had been an important link between IRA forces and the British government for over 20 years.

File photo dated 06/05/08 of Brendan Duddy, who played an important role in securing peace in Northern Ireland and has died aged 80.
File photo dated 06/05/08 of Brendan Duddy, who played an important role in securing peace in Northern Ireland and has died aged 80.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

TRIBUTES HAVE BEEN paid to a man who acted as a secret peacemaker between the IRA and the British government during the Troubles, after he passed away this week.

Brendan Duddy died at the age of 80 after an illness.

The Derry businessman had been an important link between IRA forces and the British government for over 20 years.

He arranged contacts between the two sides throughout the 1970s to the 1990s. His work paved the way for the 1994 IRA ceasefire and the Good Friday Agreement.

The BBC’s Mark Durkan – who made the documentary The Secret Peacemaker about Duddy – described him as the ”unsung hero of the Troubles”.

“I don’t think the part he played has ever been fully recognised and his place in history will be quite rightly secured,” he said.

The fact we have a relative peace in Northern Ireland would not have happened without the remarkable efforts Brendan made.

Duddy acted as a vital go-between during the Troubles. He was codenamed “Soon”, and in 1981 was the key link between then-UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the IRA during the hunger strikes.

Tributes were paid to Duddy on social media following his death.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan described Duddy as a “quiet hero” and said he was saddened by his death.

“Saddened by the death of a quiet hero of our peace, Brendan Duddy.  My thoughts with his family, friends, and people of Derry. RIP,” he said.

SDLP representative Mark Durkan tweeted:

Read: 18 British soldiers being considered for prosecution over Bloody Sunday

Read: Tony Blair says language of Good Friday Agreement will have to be amended due to Brexit

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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