Moving tributes have been paid to the Chancellor of Queen’s University of Belfast, Dr Tom Moran who has passed away peacefully.

The prominent Irish-American businessman died in New York following a short illness. He was appointed Chancellor of the university in 2015.

Queen’s University has paid tribute. Vice-chancellor Professor Ian Greer said that Dr Moran was a ‘real inspiration and will be sorely missed.’

Dr Moran played a critical role in the peace process, he transformed Concern, the worldwide relief agency when he took over at the helm as chairman, and he received the Irish Presidential Distinguished Services award.

Patricia Harty, the founding editor of Irish America Magazine, which inducted Moran into the Irish America Hall of Fame in 2012, said: “He was a man who didn’t just give money, he gave of himself, and when he helped someone he made them feel that they were giving him a gift.”

Ireland’s foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney tweeted: I learned with sadness today of the death of Tom Moran in New York. Tom made a very significant positive impact on Irish American relations, in particular supporting peace in Northern Ireland. My sincere condolences to his wife, Joan, and to his wider family and friends.

Sinn Féin former leader Gerry Adams, who knew Tom Moran for decades issued a statement on behalf of the party.

“It is with very deep regret that we heard the news of Tom Moran’s death in New York. Tom was introduced to the peace process by Bill Flynn and became a crucial player in his positive involvement with political representatives of loyalism, making clear his main aim was a shared understanding of the peace process and building support across all communities. He will be deeply missed. Our condolences to his wife Joan and his wide circle of family and friends.

Dr Moran was 65. A funeral mass will be celebrated in his memory at St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York on Friday, August 17.

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