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August 26th, 2009
09:44 AM ET

Kennedy remembered as peace broker

(CNN) - Worldwide tributes for U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, who has died after a long battle with brain cancer, poured in Wednesday, led by politicians hailing his role in securing a lasting peace in Northern Ireland.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/26/kennedy.blair.gi.art.jpg caption="Senator Kennedy, left, pictured with former Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1998."]

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose administration presided over the 1998 Good Friday Agreement which led to an end to decades of sectarian violence in the province and established a united ruling Assembly, praised Kennedy's commitment to the process.

"I saw his focus and determination first hand in Northern Ireland where his passionate commitment was matched with a practical understanding of what needed to be done to bring about peace and to sustain it," Blair said.

Kennedy, of Irish Catholic ancestry, was initially an outspoken opponent of British military deployment to the province during the violence of the 1970s and 80s in which more than 3,600 people were killed, but later moderated his views to support negotiations that brought all sides to the table.

The senator is credited with getting an American visa for Gerry Adams - leader of the pro-Irish nationalism Sinn Fein party accused of links to Irish Republican Army militants - allowing him to attend a pivotal U.S. conference on Northern Ireland's future.

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Filed under: Politics
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Sherley A. Lawrence

    A Tribute to a Great Man who dared to stand in the gap for all Mankind.

    Walk into the light my dear brother,
    You have paid your dues to be free.
    Your dedication to democracy was like no other,
    A closer walk O God to Thee.

    You fought a brave and fearless fight,
    Always standing in the gap for the poor.
    Your final battle was ceased by the light,
    When the Lord opened His Eternal Door.

    Well done my son come on to Me,
    God spoke and then He called you home.
    Your work will last for Eternalty,
    Your memory on earth will forever roam.

    Your battles and struggles have all been won,
    There are none left for you to fight.
    It is in heaven where I need my son,
    To serve in the Senate of Worship...In My Glorious Sight.

    Your Health Care Bill was finally passed,
    In the Congress of Christ the debate now ceased.
    Knowing that only what we do for Lord will last,
    You can worship with your Dear Brothers and Rest in Peace.

    God Bless You Sweet Senator Ted Kennedy

    In Dedication to you and In Prayer for your family,
    Sherley A. Lawrence

    August 27, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  2. Evan

    CNN has really been able to master the art of beating a dead horse to death!!! When something significant happens it becomes not only news on CNN but it's like a bad dream you cannot wake up from. All other news ceases to exist. If I even hear the name Ted Kennedy now I cringe, thanks CNN for grinding one topic into our heads until no one can even stand it anymore. I'm done with you guys. I'm going to NPR.

    August 27, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  3. Taj

    Ted Kennedy's loss will be felt at every step by dems. He was a fierce fighter as well as clever statesman. He knew when to shake hands and make deal. We love u Ted.

    August 27, 2009 at 8:18 am |
  4. Bob

    Enough already. There must be other news out there.

    August 27, 2009 at 6:09 am |