Tributes paid to 'real friend of Ireland' John McCain

Tributes paid to 'real friend of Ireland' John McCain

Tributes have been paid by politicians at home and abroad to the late US Senator John McCain.

The American war veteran, presidential nominee and longtime leading politician died aged 81 after a battle with brain cancer.

President Michael D Higgins extended his sympathy on behalf of the people of Ireland to the family of Mr McCain, praising his bi-partisanship on a number of issues.

In a statement, President Higgins said: "Members of the Irish communities in the United States of America will have heard with sadness of the death of Senator John McCain of Arizona, after a brave battle with cancer.

"They will recall his efforts with the late Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy and others to achieve a resolution of the position of out-of-status immigrants, including the Irish, in the United States.

"His commitment to bi-partisanship on a number of issues should also be acknowledged and particularly his efforts, for example, to attend crucial votes in the United States Senate at some of the most difficult periods of his illness.

"On behalf of the people of Ireland, I extend my sympathy to his wife and family."

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also expressed his condolences, describing Senator McCain as a wise and remarkable statesman.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Varadkar said: “On behalf of the people of Ireland, I extend my deepest sympathies on the death of Senator John McCain, a wise and remarkable statesman, US ally of Ireland and a proud Scots Irishman who was a champion for immigration reform in the US Senate.”

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said Mr McCain was a "real friend of Ireland" and a "great Amercian of strength, principle and courage".

Political leaders across the world have been paying tribute to the senator.

Donald Trump, who once criticised him for being taken prisoner during the Vietnam War, extended his sympathies to the McCain family.

Hillary Clinton described Mr McCain was a "tough politician, a trusted colleague" and said "there will simply never be another like him".

The official Twitter account for UK Prime Minister issued a statement on behalf of Theresa May saying: "John McCain was a great statesman, who embodied the idea of service over self.

"It was an honour to call him a friend of the UK. My deepest sympathies go to his family, and the American people."

Digital Desk

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