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Former Irish leader Albert Reynolds dies

Tributes have been paid to the former Irish prime minister Albert Reynolds following his death.

The 81-year-old served one of the shortest terms on record as leader of the Republic but his tireless work on the Northern Ireland peace process secured his legacy. He died overnight yesterday and had been suffering from Alzheimer's.

The country's current PM Enda Kenny said 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 led to the Good Friday Agreement".

The ex-leader of the Fianna Fail party led two Coalition Governments and pushed then UK prime minister John Major for talks involving Sinn Fein. He served less than three years as leader before quitting amid a row over the extradition of a paedophile priest. Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams: "Albert acted on the North (Ireland) when it mattered."

Mr Reynolds' successor as PM, Bertie Ahern added: "If there hadn't have been a Downing Street Declaration, I don't think there would have been a ceasefire in the first place. First Minister Alex Salmond highlighted his "enduring contribution to the peace process".

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