Senators pay tribute to Peter Robinson on his retirement

New Labour Senator Maíría Cahill says DUP leader was ‘courteous and respectful’

DUP Leader Peter Robinson announced he was standing down as First Minister and DUP ldeader. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

DUP Leader Peter Robinson announced he was standing down as First Minister and DUP ldeader. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

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There were tributes in the Seanad to Peter Robinson following his announcement that he was standing down as DUP leader and First Minister.

Labour’s Maíría Cahill said she met Mr Robinson last year and found him to be very courteous and respectful.

“He should be given credit for moving the Democratic Unionist Party from a policy of ‘never, never, never’ to one under which, for the most part, his party has had a respectful relationship with the nationalist community and has been very productive,’’ she said.

While welcoming the Stormont agreement, Ms Cahill said she was disappointed that agreement had not been reached on issues of the past.

Trevor Ó Clochartaigh of Sinn Féin said Mr Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness had played important roles in recent weeks in helping to forge a political conclusion to the Stormont talks.

Fianna Fáil’s Diarmuid Wilson said Mr Robinson made a major contribution to the peace process and had come a long way since the “infamous incursion into Clontibret’’ in the 1980s.

Independent Senator Sean D Barrett said he had found Mr Robinson to be a quiet and courteous man and very attached to the peace process.

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