Page last updated at 10:34 GMT, Wednesday, 21 May 2008 11:34 UK

Senior IRA leader dies of cancer

Brian Keenan
Brian Keenan had been ill for some time

Brian Keenan, 66, a former leading member of the IRA has died.

Mr Keenan, a father of six, from west Belfast, had been suffering from cancer for some time.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said his strong endorsement of the party's strategy was crucial in securing IRA support for the peace process.

He was jailed for 18 years in 1980 for conspiring to cause explosions in Britain in the 70s. More recently he was involved in decommissioning talks.

He took part in weapons talks with Canadian General John de Chastelain, head of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning.

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