The Rt. Hon. William David Trimble, PC
By facilitating dialogue between his fellow Unionists and Northern Ireland's separatists, David Trimble has been a leader of the delicate peace process there for decades. Born in 1944 in Bangor, Northern Ireland, Trimble studied law at the Queen's University of Belfast, where he became a lawyer and law professor. He entered politics as a member of the Vanguard Party, but when it collapsed he joined the Ulster Unionist Party, where he rose quickly through the leadership to party head. During the tense period of independence conflict, he joined Social Democratic and Labor Party chief John Hume in talks with the British government and the Sinn Fein to establish peace. Their talks led to the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985, the 1994 IRA cease-fire, and finally the Good Friday agreement in 1998. In 1998, he and Hume received the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland." Since the award, Trimble has served as First Minister of Ireland twice and continues to lobby for peace in Northern Ireland.
"Politics can be likened to driving at night over unfamiliar hills and mountains. Close attention must be paid to what the beam can reach and the next bend."
"The dark shadow we seem to see in the distance is not really a mountain ahead, but the shadow of the mountain behind - a shadow from the past thrown forward into our future. It is a dark sludge of historical sectarianism. We can leave it behind us if we wish."
"There are two traditions in Northern Ireland. There are two main religious denominations. But there is only one true moral denomination. And it wants peace."
Publications / Speeches: