The Church of Ireland Primate, who is the senior Primate of the Anglican Communion, has paid a warm tribute to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, who announced his retirement today.
Archbishop Eames said: "Archbishop George Carey has led the Anglican Communion during a period of immense change and re-alignment for the Anglican family world-wide.
"The burdens of his office have been intense as he has combined the needs of an international Church with his leadership of the Church of England. Together with his wife Eileen he has visited each part of the Anglican Communion and they have made friends in every part of the world.
"His gifts of warmth, sincerity and compassion have allowed him to identify with the problems and needs of a diverse and expanding Church. He has brought encouragement to so many throughout the Churches with his enthusiasm for ecumenical progress.
"His visit to Armagh for St Patrick's Day in 2000 is remembered with genuine gratitude. On my recent visit with him to Israel and Gaza I saw again the influence he would exert in international affairs. Among his fellow Primates he was held in great respect and with affection.
"On behalf of the Church of Ireland I wish George and Eileen Carey every blessing and happiness in their forthcoming retirement."