SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has expressed his sadness at the death of Father Gerry Reynolds – the Redemptorist priest from Clonard Monastery in west Belfast who worked for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.
Mr Durkan said: “Fr Gerry Reynolds was a constant driver in the Clonard peace ministry where he and colleagues engaged across all lines and on many levels.
“He showed an underlying faith in human nature alongside his warm faith in God.
“Fr Gerry was an acute listener who sought to understand the motives and emotions of people who adhered to many different, conflicted and conflicting views.
“His voice was always one of encouragement, believing that better would come if better was done and said.
“With Fr Gerry’s tutelage, the Clonard Peace Mission forged connections and fostered confidences which formed and informed different dimensions of the peace process.
“His pastoral ethic ran deep and reached far.
“His personal grace reflected not just a natural quiet charm but also a genuinely spiritual warmth.
“In all his involvements and encouragements towards ending all the violence and shameful hurt, we all counted in his thoughts and in his prayers – and we owe him ours on the passing of a man of special counsel, contemplation and community service.”