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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar lauds late peace campaigner

Betty Williams, 76, formed the Peace People in 1976 . She died on Tuesday.

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The Irish Taoiseach has hailed the late Nobel laureate Betty Williams as a pioneering peace advocate (Niall Carson/PA)

The Irish Taoiseach has hailed the late Nobel laureate Betty Williams as a pioneering peace advocate (Niall Carson/PA)

The Irish Taoiseach has hailed the late Nobel laureate Betty Williams as a pioneering peace advocate (Niall Carson/PA)

The Irish Taoiseach has hailed the late Nobel laureate Betty Williams as a pioneering peace advocate.

The Belfast campaigner was spurred on by the deaths of three children during the conflict to co-found the Peace People, which held rallies in international cities urging an end to the violence.

Her fearless work was recognised when she and Mairead Corrigan became the first ever Northern Ireland recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, Leo Varadkar said.

He added: “A crusader for peace and reconciliation around the world, she dedicated her life to conflict resolution, children’s rights and building a better future for all.

“It is hard today to fully appreciate the courage and conviction it would have taken to stand up publicly and speak out against the violence that ravaged Northern Ireland in the 1970s.

“Betty Williams never lost that fighting spirit. She will be fondly remembered for her contribution to peace.”

Ms Williams, 76, formed the Peace People in 1976. She died on Tuesday.

PA