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Former Irish prime minister dies

DUBLIN, Aug. 22 — Former Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds, who played an important part in the Northern Ireland peace process, died on Thursday after a long illness.

Reynolds died at the age of 81. He is survived by his wife Kathleen, two sons and five daughters.

His family said last year that he had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Reynolds served as prime minister from February 1992 to December 1994. As prime minister, one of Reynolds' main achievements was the advancement in the Northern Ireland peace process.

"As Taoiseach (prime minister) he played an important part in bringing together differing strands of political opinion in Northern Ireland and as a consequence made an important contribution to the development of the peace process which eventually lead to the Good Friday Agreement," Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said.

The Good Friday Agreement, or the Belfast Agreement, was a major political development in the Northern Ireland peace process of the 1990s. The agreement is made up of two inter-related documents, both agreed in Belfast on Good Friday, April 10, 1998.

Reynolds was born in Rooskey in County Roscommon, 134 km from Dublin. Before entering politics, he was involved in the dance hall and pet food businesses. He was elected a member of parliament in 1977 at the age of 45. In the 1980s, he became minister for finance. (PNA/Xinhua)


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