Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has wished a speedy recovery to his predecessor, Brian Cowen, who is seriously ill in hospital.
Mr Cowen was admitted on Thursday night at the Beacon Hospital in Dublin having suffered what is a suspected bleed on the brain.
Members of Mr Cowen’s family and close friends were by his side yesterday as he received treatment.
It has been confirmed to the Irish Examiner that Mr Cowen is in a very serious condition.
The former Fianna Fáil leader, aged 59, was rushed to hospital on Thursday where he is still being treated.
Sources close to the Offaly-born politician confirmed that he is “seriously ill” in hospital and his family are by his side.
Mr Varadkar, speaking in Longford, said he wished Mr Cowen well.
“I only heard that in the last few hours so I don’t know any details,” he said. “But I served in the Dáil with Brian Cowen for a number of years and I really hope if he is unwell, as I hear he is, that he makes a speedy recovery.”
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said he was “very sorry to hear that former Dáil colleague Brian Cowen is unwell. I wish himself and his family well at this anxious and worrying time.”
Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Mr Flanagan paid a warm tribute to Mr Cowen, They worked “very well together” as constituency colleagues over four decades,” said Mr Flanagan.
“A great colleague, never had an angry word since we were elected,” he said.
Mr Cowen was hospitalised previously after taking ill at an Oireachtas golf society event last April.
The event at Lahinch Golf Club was attended by members of the Oireachtas past and present, as well as staff and the media. Among those present was another former taoiseach, Enda Kenny.
It is understood Mr Cowen arrived at the Captain’s prize event, hosted by Michael Harty, an Independent TD for Clare and captain of the Oireachtas Golf Society, but was feeling unwell as he reached the venue.
Mr Cowen retired from politics in 2011 following the impact of the economic crash on Fianna Fáil. Since leaving politics, he has maintained a low public profile but has engaged in a number of business interests. He entered politics in 1984 when he won the by-election caused by the death of his father Ber.