1. ITV Report

Pope pays tribute to former Irish leader Albert Reynolds

Pope Francis paid tribute to former Irish prime minister Albert Reynolds. Photo: Reuters

Pope Francis has paid tribute to the late former Irish prime minister Albert Reynolds for his work as a peacemaker.

As hundreds of mourners gathered for Reynolds state funeral in Dublin, the pontiff praised his "efforts to promote reconciliation in Northern Ireland."

Former Irish taoiseach Albert Reynolds. Credit: PA

He also offered condolences to the former taoiseach's family in the message sent from the Vatican's secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin to Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin,

The senior cleric said: "The Holy Father learned with sadness of the death of the former taoiseach Albert Reynolds and he asks you kindly to convey his condolences to Mrs Reynolds and their children and family."

He added: "Recalling with gratitude the late taoiseach's efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Ireland, His Holiness prays for the eternal repose of his soul."

Reynolds who died last week aged 81, served as Taoiseach (prime minister) for just under three years - one of the shortest ever terms - but is credited with making a significant contribution to pushing forward the peace process.

Flanked by her two sons Kathleen Reynolds attends the funeral of her late husband Albert. Credit: PA

Former prime minister John Major and Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness joined a requiem mass at the Sacred Heart Church, Donnybrook, along with Reynolds extended family, friends and supporters.