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Lord Alderdice: Napier was an inspiration

July 4, 2011 11:02 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Lord Alderdice said:

"Oliver Napier was possessed of a steely courage, sharp political acumen, unflinching integrity and an absolute commitment to liberal values and the cause of peace in Ireland.

"He was the inspiration for the Alliance Party for a generation and played a key role, not only in the politics of the 1970's and 80's in Northern Ireland, but right up to the signing of the Belfast Agreement in 1998.

"I am very sad that he is no longer physically with us, but he lives on in a whole new generation of Alliance activists and representatives.

"In his last public speech at the Stormont Hotel on the 40th anniversary of the Alliance Party Oliver was clearly very ill but he still showed all his old flair and passion and declared himself glad to have lived long enough to see the Good Friday Agreement take root, Naomi Long win East Belfast and the Alliance Party begin to see a better recognition by the people of Northern Ireland.

"He may have thought himself fortunate, but Northern Ireland was fortunate indeed to have had Oliver Napier, especially in the darkest days of the Troubles, when he pointed the way to a better future, and gave real leadership along that difficult road."