David Trimble served as leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and was the first First Minister of Northern Ireland. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998 for doing something many people thought they would never see in their lifetime: he brought peace to Northern Ireland.
David’s deft negotiation of the landmark Belfast Agreement set the civil war-torn province on the path toward peace, and established him in the first rank of the world’s most accomplished politicians and humanitarians. His historic decision to engage in dialog with his nationalist counterpart, John Hume (with whom he shares the Nobel Peace Prize), was a visionary step in resolving the seemingly intractable conflict.
In 1995, after a distinguished career in law and politics, he was elected leader of the Ulster Unionist Party. He quickly led unionism into discussions with the other parties in Ireland, and worked closely with Tony Blair and Bill Clinton. On Good Friday, 1998, the Belfast Agreement was signed. It provided power-sharing between unionists and nationalists, repaired relationships between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, and between Ireland and Britain, and set the agenda for a lasting peace.
As a former First Minister of Northern Ireland, he now talks about leading when times are tough and bringing about change when seemingly everyone, inside and outside your group, is against you. His personal choice of negotiating with other parties was only the first step; he also had to convince his own party, as well as his loyalist constituency, to accept his choice and embrace a new beginning.
David Trimble became Lord Trimble in 2006 and sits in the House of Lords as a Conservative peer.
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