British and Irish prime ministers and former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams on Monday attended the funeral of David Trimble, the Nobel peace prize-winning former first minister of Northern Ireland whose statecraft helped end decades of conflict. Trimble, a pro-UK unionist politician, was one of the Northern Irish leaders who delivered the landmark Good Friday peace deal in 1998. His death last Monday aged 77 after a short illness has prompted tributes from across the political spectrum in the province and mainland Britain as well as from around the world. Mourners joining Trimble’s widow and children for the service in a Presbyterian church in his hometown of Lisburn, southwest of Belfast, included British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin. Johnson later tweeted that Trimble’s “principled determination to forge a better future for all marks him out as one of the giants of our history”. Fiona Forbes, the Presbyterian minister leading the service, said the widespread grief at his death reflected his deep impact on the political landscape and “to the legacy he left all of us”. She described Trimble as “an academic, a party leader, a peacemaker, a Nobel laureate”, noting he was the first to serve in the role of first minister which was created by the Good Friday Agreement. The 1998 accords, also referred to as the Belfast Agreement, largely ended the period known as “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland — three decades of sectarian violence in the province that claimed 3,500 lives. In the same year as the agreements were signed, Trimble was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts, alongside pro-Ireland nationalist leader John Hume. A lawyer by training, Trimble entered politics in 1975 representing South Belfast in the regional government for the hardline Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party, which had loyalist paramilitary links. When the party split over a potential coalition with republican rivals, Trimble sided with those backing the deal. He joined the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) in 1978 and became the first unionist leader to enter negotiations with Sinn Fein, the political wing of the paramilitary Irish Republican Army (IRA). He led the UUP into eight-month talks resulting in the Good Friday Agreement, which established a power-sharing regional government and wound down military and paramilitary operations on all sides. Former UK prime minister Tony Blair and former US president Bill Clinton, who worked with Trimble on peace for Northern Ireland, have paid tribute to Trimble’s political courage. Blair, who was British prime minister in 1998, told BBC Radio Ulster on Monday “the peace process could not have happened without him”. Blair praised “the character it took to withstand all the criticism that he got, the threats against his own life that were made”, calling this an example of leadership. Trimble’s family said the former first minister had “passed away peacefully”. Books of condolence were opened across Northern Ireland. At the seat of the province’s power-sharing government, currently engulfed in a protracted political crisis following elections in May, a wreath of flowers was laid in front of a portrait of Trimble. Following the elections three months ago, which swept nationalists to victory for the first time in the province’s history, the assembly has been left paralysed amid a boycott by the dominant pro-UK force, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). The party has refused to join a power-sharing government until London rips up a post-Brexit trading pact for Northern Ireland with the European Union. An attempt to restart the Stormont regional assembly last Tuesday following Trimble’s death was postponed out of respect. Assembly members are to offer formal condolences in a special sitting on Tuesday.