Political leaders in Northern Ireland have been urged to redouble their efforts to break the Stormont impasse in a tribute to Lord David Trimble.
Lord Trimble helped draft the Good Friday agreement in 1998, which ended decades of violence.
His funeral was held today at Harmony Hill Presbyterian Church in Lisburn, Co Antrim and was attended by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Taoiseach Micheal Martin.
Referring to Lord Trimble’s Nobel prize speech in 1998, Rev Dr Charles McMullen told mourners: “In that speech, David made this inspiring comment: ‘The dark shadow we seem to see in the distance is not really a mountain ahead, but the shadow of the mountain behind – a shadow from the past thrown forward into our future. It is a dark sludge of historical sectarianism. We can leave it behind us if we wish. But both communities must leave it behind, because both created it’.
“It is a very powerful quotation because it reminds us of the achievements of the Good Friday Agreement in placing the principle of consent at the centre of our politics and ultimately removing the gun.
“It reminds us also that, although we are on a journey from the past, the mountain still casts a shadow and we are all, to a greater or lesser extent, recovering sectarians.
“Can we use this service today, in a fitting tribute to one of the great, to redouble our efforts on this island home of ours?
“With courage, pragmatism and generosity of spirit, may our politicians engage wholeheartedly in resolving the outstanding issues surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol, so that our democratic institutions are quickly restored and we can all move forward together.”