The SDLP has announced the death of former party leader John Hume.
Mr Hume, a Noble peace prize winner, was regarded by many as the driving force behind Northern Ireland’s 1998 Good Friday peace agreement.
The party announced his passing on Monday morning.
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the death of John Hume represents the loss of "20th century Ireland’s most significant and consequential political figure.
"It is no exaggeration to say that each and every one of us now lives in the Ireland Hume imagined – an island at peace and free to decide its own destiny."
He added: "This is an historic moment on this island but most of all it is a moment of deep, deep sadness. In the days ahead, Ireland will be united in mourning his loss. However amidst that national mourning, it is equally true that the marking of John’s death also opens up a space to reflect on, and celebrate, the magnitude of his life.
"As part of that reflection of John’s work, never has the beatitude rung truer - blessed be the peacemakers. The life of John Hume will forever be a blessing upon this island since Ireland is now blessed by the peace he gifted to us all. It is the greatest legacy a political leader can bestow upon his country.
"Hume will always find a home amongst the pantheon of great Irish leaders and it is only right and natural that he will now be spoken of in the very same breath as O’Connell and Parnell.
"It is important that John’s endeavours are fully appreciated in terms of their sheer scale - his impact and legacy extends well beyond one lifetime and well beyond the confines of Northern Ireland. His life’s work brought to an end the seemingly intractable historical arc of bitter conflict between the neighbouring islands of Britain and Ireland.
"After some 800 years which inflicted so much hurt and harm on all our peoples, it is John Hume who must now be remembered as the great healer of that history. For all of these reasons and more, John Hume truly was Ireland’s greatest."
The party extended its sympathies and thanks to the care and nursing staff of Owen Mor nursing home in Derry.
"The care they have shown John in the last months of his life has been exceptional," the statement said.
"As a family, we are unfailingly inspired by the professionalism, compassion, and love they have shown to John and all those under their care. We can never adequately show them our thanks for looking after John at a time when we could not. The family drew great comfort in being with John again in the last days of his life.
"We would like also to extend our gratitude to the people of Derry and Moville/Greencastle, who have looked after John and shown us so much kindness as his dementia has progressed. Celebrating community in all its diversity went to the heart of John’s political ethos and we are very appreciative that our communities supported, respected and protected John."
The statement continued: "John was a husband, a father, a grandfather, a great grandfather and a brother. He was very much loved, and his loss will be deeply felt by all his extended family.
"John’s funeral will be arranged according to the current government regulations with very strict rules on numbers.
"We realise this will mean that many will be unable to join us and we will arrange a memorial service and a celebration of his life in due course. Above all, we know that John would have prioritised public health, and the safety and health of our communities. We are grateful for your condolences and support, and we appreciate that you will respect the family’s right to privacy at this time of great loss.
"It seems particularly apt for these strange and fearful days to remember the phrase that gave hope to John and so many of us through dark times: we shall overcome."