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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 March, 2005, 10:15 GMT 11:15 UK
Tributes paid to Lord Callaghan
Lord Callaghan
Lord Callaghan sent British soldiers to Northern Ireland in 1969
Political leaders in Northern Ireland have paid tribute to former Labour prime minister Lord Callaghan, who died at home in East Sussex aged 92.

In 1969, while he was home secretary, Lord Callaghan sent British soldiers to Northern Ireland as civil unrest gathered pace.

Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy said that he had been "deeply saddened" by his death.

"He was a man of great honour, compassion and dignity," he said.

"My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time."

DUP leader Ian Paisley said that although he did not agree with his political views while he was in office, he later developed a good relationship with him.

"He was a decent man and I certainly had a good personal relationship with him when he was on the back benches," he said.

"He was always keen to talk about Northern Ireland and he was always keen to find out what the Democratic Unionist Party's views were on it."


The SDLP leader, Mark Durkan, said Lord Callaghan should be commended for taking the decision to send soldiers to Northern Ireland in 1969.

"We can reflect positively on his intervention as home secretary in 1969 at the height of the civil rights movement," he said.

"But that intervention should have been more complete and decisive - he had the opportunity and should have abolished Stormont at that time.

"He was avuncular and apparently sincere, so it will always be a disappointment that on Ireland he did not act more, act better and act sooner."

Lord Callaghan's death came just 11 days after Audrey, his wife of 67 years, died.

He leaves a son and two daughters.

How Lord Callaghan will be remembered

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