Funeral takes place of Brendan Duddy, Derry’s “secret peacemaker”

The funeral has taken place today in Derry of Brendan Duddy, the businessman who played a key role in resolving contentious parading issues in the city.

He also facilitated early talks and contacts which were crucial in the lead up to the peace process.

His work in that regard earned him the title "Derry's secret peacemaker".

In a statement this morning, local Chamber of Commerce President George Fleming described Brendan Duddy an inspirational leader of the city of Derry, both in terms of his role in the business community and as a peace-maker.

He said Brendan’s central role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland has now become well recognised. Derry and the rest of Northern Ireland would be a very different, and less happy place, were it not for Brendan.

But, he added, the business community in the city and the region also remember Brendan as an important figure, having spent many years as chair of the City Centre Initiative. In that role he again played a major role in achieving agreement on parades in the city, resolving another issue of tension and conflict.

Politicians have also been paying tribute, Foyle MP Mark Durkan described his meetings with Brendan Duddy as "tutorials" during the period of the Hume Adams talks which were a vital precursor opf the peace process.

He said Brendan Duddy showed vision and perspective, and shared a lot of colorful insights without ever breaching a discretion.