Queen’s university chancellor Tom Moran dies aged 65

Irish-American businessman became a crucial player in peace process, says Gerry Adams

Tom Moran was appointed chancellor of Queen’s University, Belfast in May 2015. Photograph: Queen’s University, Belfast

Tom Moran was appointed chancellor of Queen’s University, Belfast in May 2015. Photograph: Queen’s University, Belfast

 

The Irish-American businessman, and chancellor of Queen’s University, Belfast, Tom Moran has died after a short illness. He was aged 65.

Mr Moran’s funeral Mass will be held in St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, on Friday.

Mr Moran who had a successful business career with Mutual of America played a critical role in the Northern Irish peace process and his activities included the chairmanship of the Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide, as well as the chancellorship of Queen’s.

Queen’s University vice-chancellor Prof Ian Greer said the college was “grateful for Tom’s unwavering support and commitment to the university since he was appointed chancellor in May 2015. Tom considered it a privilege and honour to be our chancellor and embraced the role with passion and excitement, often commenting how special it was for him to be part of the Queen’s family.”

Tánaiste Simon Coveney posted on Twitter that “Tom made a very significant positive impact on Irish-American relations”.

Former Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said it was with “very deep regret that we heard the news of Tom Moran’s death in New York”.

On behalf of the Sinn Féin leadership, Mr Adams said: “Tom, introduced to the peace process by Bill Flynn, became a crucial player in his positive involvement with political representatives of loyalism making clear his main aim was a shared understanding of the peace process and building support across all communities. He will be deeply missed. Our condolences to his wife Joan and his wide circle of family and friends . . . ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.”

The chief constable of the PSNI George Hamilton said described Mr Moran as a “great friend – full of honesty, candour and wisdom” and said he was an “authentic advocate for policing and the peace process”. “Many of us in leadership will miss his support, counsel and humour.”