Political leaders have paid tribute to renowned historian Eamon Phoenix, who died at the age of 69.
He was an academic at Stranmillis University College, a longtime contributor to the Irish News newspaper and a familiar face on broadcast stations.
He passed away peacefully at his home in Belfast after a short illness, surrounded by his family, and is survived by his wife Alice, daughter Mary-Alice, son-in-law Stuart and granddaughter Nicole.
Sinn Fein Stormont leader Michelle O’Neill said she was deeply saddened to hear of Dr Phoenix’s death.
“Eamon was a gifted communicator who published and contributed many valuable and important historical writings, reflections and analyzes for nearly four decades,” she said.
“His passion and enthusiasm for Irish history and politics brought him to life by raising awareness and interest across society for today’s generation.
“His distinctive contribution to building peace on this island was clear to all, and in particular through his regular columns in local newspapers and his appearances on radio and television, and his significant involvement in the centenarian decade .
“His precious writings and insights into our past leave a powerful legacy for future generations.
“My thoughts are with Eamon’s family, friends and colleagues in academia and in the Irish news at this sad and difficult time.”
DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said he was incredibly saddened by the news.
“Eamon takes to the grave a glimpse of the history of these islands that few will ever rival,” he said.
“Our deepest condolences to his wife, daughter and extended family.”