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.
William J, Flynn, a key figure in the American role in the Irish peace process died at his home on Long Island at age 92. Funeral services are set for Wednesday morning.
Many tributes have been paid to Flynn, former Chairman of Mutual of America and a devoted supporter of Irish causes throughout his life.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney stated Flynn “Showed real leadership in mobilizing Irish American support for peace. Very proud of his contribution.”
I learned with sadness of death of Bill Flynn, a giant of Irish America + key figure in US support for peace on the island of Ireland. He showed real leadership in mobilising Irish American support for peace. Very proud of his contribution. Our thoughts with his family + friends.— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) June 3, 2018
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.
Read More: Bill Flynn's Irish heritage
"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.
Bill Flynn "A Champion of Peace in Ireland" - Gerry Adams TD https://t.co/gVb7rPzweM— Gerry Adams (@GerryAdamsSF) June 3, 2018
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’. pic.twitter.com/6cQbMTHfq0
"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.
Read More: The truth about Gerry Adams US visa
"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.”
There has been an outpouring of other tributes, too, from Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Irish America:
#peacemaker .... US businessman Bill Flynn has died. He was one of the good guys. The 92 year old played a significant role in driving the Peace Process. He was present, I believe when the Loyalists called their October 13 1994 ceasefire. Ar lámh dheis go raibh anam Bill. pic.twitter.com/THdugP20uS— Eamonn Mallie (@EamonnMallie) June 3, 2018
Bill Flynn dedicated a good portion of his life to the peace process in the North of Ireland. He will will also be remembered as the IA that stepped forward to take a chance on peace.https://t.co/QPW5sRGPU0— Marty Glennon (@mrtyg1) June 3, 2018
Everyone knows about the President Clinton/George Mitchell role in Northern Ireland peace process -Bill Flynn's vital role should also be noted— Feargal Cochrane (@fecochrane1) June 3, 2018
Bill Flynn, Irish American giant of the peace process, passes away at 92 https://t.co/f4g1zoPhy3
Saddened to hear of the passing of Bill Flynn. He made an immense contribution to peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and was made CBE in 2009 in recognition of his exceptional efforts. On behalf of us all @UKinNewYork, our sincere condolences to his family and friends— Antony Phillipson (@AJPhillipson) June 3, 2018
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Bill Flynn. An immense figure of grace and honesty who supported our work, giving us consistent encouragement. Our heartfelt thoughts are with his family and friends.— Relatives 4 Justice (@RelsForJustice) June 3, 2018