Tributes paid to Fr Alec Reid 1931-2013

"Fr Reid will perhaps best be remembered for the courageous part he played in identifying and nurturing the early seeds of an inclusive peace process. Fr Reid’s role as a channel for peace laid the ground for the achievement of the IRA cease-fire and created the political space for the multi-party talks that ultimately led to the Good Friday Agreement.”  

President Michael D. Higgins


"He was a priest of great compassion who reached out to all those who were hurting and suffering.  Always out of the limelight, he continued his patient and delicate peace work without seeking any personal credit or reward. The people of this island will forever owe Fr Reid an immeasurable debt of gratitude for his tireless work towards building a civilisation of love and peace.”

Archbishop Eamon Martin


"In expressing my sympathy to Fr Alec Reid’s family and the members of the Redemptorist Community on the news of his death earlier today, I pay sincere tribute to the way in which he accepted that his obedience to the call of Christ would lead him on a sometimes dangerous and lonely path to building peace in Northern Ireland.

“He was a brave man, who deserves the admiration of us all.”

Archbishop Richard Clarke, Church of Ireland Primate of All Ireland


"Fr Reid was a pillar of the peace process. Without his courage, determination and utter selflessness, the road to peace in our region would have been much longer and much more difficult to traverse. A man of faith and deep conviction, his commitment to our people was a key part of the foundation on which our early, fragile peace was built.”

Nobel Laureate and former SDLP leader John Hume


“The genius of the man was that he enabled people to take steps and to trust themselves as well as others to embark on a journey that at one time to them would have been unthinkable.”

Rev. Harold Good


“The contribution Fr Reid made to promoting peace and reconciliation was immensely important. He conducted himself with integrity and compassion even in the most difficult of circumstances.  His deep respect for human dignity was evident at all times.

We are the poorer for his passing today but Ireland is very much the richer for his labours.”

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, TD


Alec opposed violence and understood the key to making progress was through reaching out to others regardless of their background.”

NI First Minister Peter Robinson


"Fr Alec Reid was a man of great dignity and his service to society embodied decency and respect for everyone. He made an immeasurable contribution to the peace process and he has left a legacy of peace and hope for a better future for all,” he said.

NI Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness


“His death reminds us that we haven’t quite reached completion in terms of the peace process and we must re-double our efforts to achieve a lasting settlement.

“The courage and bravery displayed by Fr Reid during the Troubles has been a shining example to people right across the world.”

SDLP Leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell


The United States extends its deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Fr Alec Reid, whose deep faith and moral courage helped lay the foundation for dialogue and progress in Northern Ireland, and his passing reminds us of the contributions made by so many along the path to peace.  

“Those close to Fr Reid can be proud of his role, and his legacy offers a profoundly powerful inspiration to all of us.”

Statement from the US Consulate in Belfast.


“Fr Reid was a visionary and we all owe him a debt of gratitude for the lasting peace that he helped bring about.

“No doubt his strong faith, tolerance and patience helped Fr Reid deal with some of the worst atrocities he witnessed during the Troubles.” 

Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin TD


"We all owe a debt of gratitude to him for the role he played in the peace and reconciliation process in Northern Ireland.”

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers


"What Alec Reid did was he lived the Gospel message. He developed a view which was contrary to the official view, that there had to be dialogue, and he was tenacious – I remember quite a few times saying he was like a terrier.”

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams


"Fr Alec Reid’s intervention to administer last rites epitomised his enormous faith and strength of conviction.

“His comfort was given amidst the enormous fears and tension on that terrible day in March 1988.”

A spokesman for Britain’s Ministry of Defence


"It is impossible to really understand Fr Alec’s life and work without taking God and Fr Alec’s faith in God into account.  Fr Alec saw himself as a servant of Christ in a situation of conflict.  For Fr Alec all those who are baptised are called and sent to be servants of Christ.”

Fr Michael Kelleher, Redemptorist Provincial, speaking at the funeral service for Fr Alec Reid in Marianella, Rathgar, Dublin, November 25


"Father Reid made an immense contribution to peace and to the lives of countless numbers of people. I recall on one occasion listening to him give a view on ‘the role of Christian witness in a situation of violent conflict’. That was the mark of his contribution, of a deep Christian witness in the most difficult circumstances.

“He lived out his faith conviction in the lives of people. This place and our people are the better for all of his work.

Alex Attwood MLA


"I thought we were locked in a never-ending cycle of violence and war. Thank God for people like him that had a higher calling and a higher vision than us.”

Belfast Lord Mayor Mairtín Ó Muilleoir


"He should have got a Nobel Peace Prize. But maybe he turned it down. The only prize he wanted was peace.”

An anonymous Belfast resident reacting to news of the death of Fr Reid