Bill Flynn "A Champion of Peace in Ireland" - Gerry Adams TD
Sinn Féin TD and former party leader Gerry Adams has expressed his “sincere condolences and solidarity to the family of my good friend Bill Flynn” following news of Bill’s death.
Gerry Adams TD said:
“I want to extend my sincerest condolences and solidarity to Peggy Flynn and the Flynn family on the death of Bill.
"He was one of America’s foremost business leaders, as well as a patron of great causes in support of humanitarian, civil liberties and health issues.
"Bill was a first generation Irish American who has family connections in County Down and County Mayo.
"In Ireland and among Irish Americans, he is also one of those, along with Niall O’Dowd, Chuck Feeney and Bruce Morrison, who played a pivotal role in creating the conditions for the IRA cessation in August 1994, and in opening up political support in the USA for the Irish peace process.
"I have known Bill Flynn for more than 25 years. We first met in Belfast after Bill had organised and funded a peace conference in Derry in 1992 called ‘Beyond Hate’.
"He met with and was impressed by Martin McGuinness and later he travelled to Belfast where he and I met.
"Later he became part of ‘Americans for a New Irish Agenda’ which later became widely known as the Connolly House group.
"In 1994 he arranged for the National Committee on American Foreign Policy to organise a conference on Ireland to which I was invited.
"I applied for a visa which was eventually agreed and I received a 48 hour restricted visa to New York. It was a key moment in the efforts for peace.
"Since then Bill has remained solidly behind the peace process. He travelled to Ireland many times, and consciously sought to reach out to unionists and loyalists and to engage them in the process of peace making and partnership government.
"Bill’s importance can be measured in the frequency with which all of the governments – Irish, British and US – talk to him and seek to involve him in whatever the current initiative might be.
"I always make a point of trying to meet Bill every time I visit New York. His analysis of the political situation in the USA and in Ireland, was always insightful.
"He was a good American patriot and a decent human being.
"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis”.