Gerry Adams leads tributes following the death of Bill Flynn
ENTREPRENEUR and philanthropist Bill Flynn has been described as a "giant of Irish America" following his death at the age of 92.
A prominent supporter of the peace process, he encouraged the republican movement to commit to exclusively peaceful means.
As the first Irish-American chairman of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, he invited all of the north's political leaders, including Gerry Adams, to the US.
Among the many awards he received was a CBE for his exceptional contribution to peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.
He played an active part in the early negotiations of the peace process, often flying over to Ireland to help facilitate communication. The late Martin McGuinness said he was “one of the heroes of the peace process.”
Former Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams expressed his "sincere condolences and solidarity to the family of my good friend Bill Flynn" following news of the death.
Bill Flynn "A Champion of Peace in Ireland" - Gerry Adams TD https://t.co/gVb7rPzweM— Gerry Adams (@GerryAdamsSF) June 3, 2018
I have known Bill Flynn for more than 25 years. We first met in Belfast after Bill had organised and funded a peace conference in Derry in 1992 called ‘Beyond Hate’. pic.twitter.com/6cQbMTHfq0
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney also paid tribute to Mr Flynn saying he was "a giant of Irish America and key figure in US support for peace on the island of Ireland.
"He showed real leadership in mobilising Irish American support for peace. Very proud of his contribution".
I learned with sadness of death of Bill Flynn, a giant of Irish America + key figure in US support for peace on the island of Ireland. He showed real leadership in mobilising Irish American support for peace. Very proud of his contribution. Our thoughts with his family + friends.— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) June 3, 2018
Born in New York, Bill Flynn's parents came from counties Mayo and Down. A graduate of Fordham University, he played a major role in developing Mutual of America as a significant player in the insurance sector.
He is predeceased by Peggy, his wife of 65-years, and two of their four children, Bobby and Jimmy.