Ireland: Gay rights group pays tribute to former PM Albert Reynolds

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Ireland’s Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) has paid tribute to the country’s former prime minister, Albert Reynolds, who’s died at the age of 81.

Mr Reynolds was Taoiseach (prime minister) in 1993 when Ireland decriminalised homosexuality.

He played a key role in advancing the Northern Ireland peace process, including the 1994 IRA ceasefire.

The Fianna Fáil politician, who was born in Rooskey in County Roscommon, led the party in two coalition governments.

He served as Taoiseach from February 1992 to December 1994.

GLEN Chairman Kieran Rose paid tribute to the statesman.

He said: “Mr Reynolds has left a lasting legacy in making Ireland a fairer place for lesbian and gay people. As Taoiseach he led a government that began the journey to legislative and constitutional equality for lesbian and gay people.”

Mr Reynolds was the Taoiseach of the Fianna Fail/Labour Coalition Government that made the first legislative advances to end discrimination against gay people in Ireland.

“Mr Reynolds was always open, friendly and courteous in our dealings with him. We extend our sympathies to his wife and family and to his colleagues,” Mr Rose concluded.

Ireland is set to hold a referendum on same-sex marriage next year.

Civil partnerships became legal in the country in February 2011.