Two former TDs, both well-known publicans, have died, it emerged today.
Former East Limerick TD and MEP Michael Herbert died during the night. He was 81.
The well known Castleconnell publican and former inter-county hurler was first elected to the Dáil in 1969 and served three terms until November 1982.
In March 1973 he was elected to the first ever European Parliament, where he served the Munster constituency for six years.
He was full back on the Limerick team that won the 1947 National Hurling League title, defeating Kilkenny after a replay in the final.
He is survived by his wife Bríd and his eight children.
Former Fine Gael TD and senator Luke Belton has died in Dublin, aged 87.
Also a publican, Mr Belton was originally from Rathcline, Co Longford, and served in the Oireachtas for some 20 years as both a TD and senator.
He became the first Longford man to be elected to a non-Longford constituency when returned to the Dáil in 1965 by the electorate of Dublin North Central. He later changed his constituency to represent Dublin (Finglas) in 1977.
He remained a TD until 1981, before becoming a member of the Seanad in 1982 until 1987.
He was one of seven Beltons elected to the Dáil since 1927, including sitting Fine Gael MEP Avril Doyle and former TD Louis Belton.
Fine Gael Leader Enda Kenny TD paid tribute to Mr Belton.
“He was a very genuine political personality who represented his constituents diligently in the Dáil, Seanad and at local authority level,” he said.
Mr Kenny extended his sympathy to Mr Belton’s wife Lil, sons John, Michael and Luke, daughter Mary and his extended family.