Former Ireland prime minister Reynolds dies aged 81

AFP
In this file photo, then British Prime Minister John Major (L) and Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds address a press conference in London, prior to issuing a joint declaration to bring peace to Northern Ireland, on December 15, 1994
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In this file photo, then British Prime Minister John Major (L) and Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds address a press conference in London, prior to issuing a joint declaration to bring peace to Northern Ireland, on December 15, 1994 (AFP Photo/Gerry Penny)

Dublin (AFP) - Former Irish prime minister Albert Reynolds, a central figure in the Northern Ireland peace process who helped broker the 1994 IRA ceasefire, has died aged 81, Irish broadcaster RTE reported on Thursday.

Reynolds served as taoiseach twice, once in 1992 and then again in 1993-94, but had recently been suffering from the last stages of Alzheimer's disease, his son Philip revealed earlier this week.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams paid tribute on Twitter, sending a message of support to Reynolds' family.

"Albert acted on North when it mattered. RIP," he said.

Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, also a member of Sinn Fein, also lauded Reynolds' role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland.

"Very sad to hear that former taoiseach Albert Reynolds has died," he tweeted.

"Deep sympathy to Kathleen and family. Albert was a peacemaker. #Appreciation."

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