Independent TD Mattie McGrath has added his condolences to the national and international sorrow being expressed following the death of Tipperary native and Northern Ireland Peace Process initiator Fr Alec Reid.
Deputy McGrath was speaking as Fr Reid’s remains are being brought to Clonard Church in Belfast where he will lie in repose on this afternoon between 4pm and 9pm and on Tuesday from 9am to 9pm;
“Here is a man that all of Tipperary can proudly call a true and heroic son of the county. Fr Alec was gifted with a profound sense of the possible in terms of what dialogue and mutual cooperation could achieve in helping bring the north out of the dark days that had plagued it for so many decades.
“His work which he never once sought notoriety or public adulation for was pivotal in generating trust between those who held deeply conflicted views about the direction the future of the North should take.
“It is a mark of the warmth and trust that he generated that from the humble beginnings in Clonard Monastery this Tipperary son started a process going that would eventually lead to historic agreements.
“I truly believe that there is every reason now to honour this simple and holy man through the development of a fitting memorial park or appropriate monument. While his lasting and permanent legacy will the continuance of the process he helped initiate we should also give serious consideration to a more physical space through which people can be reminded of the great work of a truly great man ” concluded Deputy McGrath.