Tributes have been paid to former Labour TD and MEP Brendan Halligan, who has died at the age of 84.
President Michael D Higgins said the news of Mr Halligan’s passing will have been received with great sadness.
He recalled serving alongside Mr Halligan in Seanad Eireann in the 1970s before he went on to become elected to the Dáil and later the European Parliament.
“The news of the death of Brendan Halligan will have been received with great sadness by all those with an interest in politics, economics and social justice, and particularly by his colleagues in the Labour Party."https://t.co/qYxToGFING— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) August 9, 2020
“He was deeply respected in the socialist group of the European Parliament and as a representative of the Labour Party in the Socialist International,” Mr Higgins said.
“He bore his illness with great courage and patience. I last spoke to him after my video address on the future of Europe. His interest in European politics continued to that day.
“Sabina and I send our sincere condolences to his family, and to all those who will have been deeply affected by his passing.”
It is with deep sadness that I have learned of the passing of Brendan Halligan. He was a man who gave his life to politics and the public service with a deep commitment to the institutions of the state. I wish to extend my sympathies to his wife Margie and his family. RIP— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) August 9, 2020
Taoiseach Micheál Martin described Mr Halligan as a “man who gave his life to politics and the public service with a deep commitment to the institutions of the state”.
“I wish to extend my sympathies to his wife Margie and his family,” he said.
Mr Halligan was also a former general secretary of the Labour Party.
Labour leader Alan Kelly said he was a “fascinating man with a formidable intellect” and a “leading light” in the party.
“Brendan was also an unrivalled political organiser and when he became General Secretary of the Party in 1967, he professionalised and politicised the role in a way that was never seen before,” he said.
“Through his time in Seanad Eireann, Dáil Eireann and the European Parliament, Brendan fostered a deep belief in Socialism and in Europe and the European Union.
“He is also remembered for having founded the influential policy think tank, The Institute of International and European Affairs. The IIEA has successfully shaped political discourse around Ireland’s engagement with the European Union and its endearing success is a testament to Brendan Halligan’s vision and tenacity.
“I would like to extend my sympathies and those of my Labour colleagues to Brendan’s wife Margie, his family and friends at this difficult time.”