Pat and John Hume pay tribute to `friend of Ireland' Kevin McNamara
PAT and John Hume have paid tribute to former shadow Secretary of State Kevin McNamara calling him a "true friend to Ireland".
The former Labour MP, who was the shadow Northern Ireland Secretary of State from 1987 to 1995, died at the age of 82 on Sunday.
He was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer after falling ill while on holiday in Spain. It is understood he had no previous symptoms and died at his home in Formby, Merseyside.
Pat and John Hume said: "Kevin was a dear friend to us and a true friend to Ireland".
Mr McNamara and Mr Hume became close after meeting in the 1960s, when he supported the campaign for democracy.
"Throughout our very difficult times here in Ireland, Kevin played an important role in the effort for peace," the Humes said.
"We are deeply saddened at his passing and will treasure the invaluable contribution he made to our lives and to our politics. We offer our sincere condolences to Nora and the rest of Kevin McNamara's family."
Fianna Fail TD for Cavan/Monaghan Brendan Smith also expressed condolences and said: "I was privileged to work closely with Kevin on the British/Irish Inter Parliamentary Body and he was a powerful, sincere and dedicated advocate for justice, fairness and peace on these islands."