Former Taoiseach John Bruton has died, in a statement his family say the 76 year old died peacefully at the Mater Hospital early this morning surrounded by his family after a long illness.
He served as Fine Gael leader from 1990 to 2001, and led the Rainbow Coalition government from 1994 to 1997.
Tributes are being paid to the Former Taoiseach:
Current Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says he advocated for “new patriotism” in the North – opposing “narrow nationalism”.
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald says he gave “many decades of service” to the State.
John Bruton’s successor as Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, says he’ll remember him as “friendly” and “likeable”.
Wexford politician and former Labour leader Brendan Howlin served as Environment Minister in the Rainbow Coalition between Fine Gael, Labour and the Democratic Left.
He describes John Bruton as a “very detailed” politician:
“I remember when I produced the local Government reform plan, he went through that forensically and had a comment to make on every chapter and paragraph. Which was certainly in contrast to his predecessor as Taoiseach in my experience with Albert Reynolds.”
Speaking to South East Radio in 2014, Mr Bruton outlined his abhorrence for violence:
“I think my view of that (violence) goes back a bit further, I shared an office with Fine Gael Senator Billy Fox who was murdered by the IRA in 1972.
As Taoiseach I had the job of attending the funeral and looking into to the coffin of a member of the Irish Army who had been shot by dissident Republicans who were undertaking a kidnapping. I saw him in the morgue in Our Ladys Hospital in Navan.
I had those two experiences seared into my mind, something of which I was already fully convinced is that violence has no place in politics.”