Taoiseach and Tánaiste pay tribute to "giant" of Irish politics Des O'Malley 1 week ago

Taoiseach and Tánaiste pay tribute to "giant" of Irish politics Des O'Malley

O'Malley was one of Ireland's most prominent politicians in the 1970s and 80s.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar have paid tribute to former minister and leader of the Progressive Democrats Des O'Malley who has died at the age of 82.

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Born in Limerick, he served as a Fianna Fáil TD and minister in the 1970s and 1980s and was one of Ireland's most famous politicians of the era.

Known for taking a tough line with the IRA, he was expelled from Fianna Fáil in 1985 following a number of unsuccessful attempts to replace Charlie Haughey.

That year, he went on to found the Progressive Democrats, before retiring from public life in 2002.

The Taoiseach said he was "deeply saddened" to hear about the death of O’Malley.

"His was a life of courage and consequence," Martin wrote.

"He loved his country and was fearless in challenging those who used violence to undermine it. We remember him at Government meeting today and my thoughts are with his family."

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Varadkar, meanwhile, called O’Malley "a giant of politics".

"He broke the mould of Irish politics and left a lasting and positive legacy. May he Rest in Peace," he added.

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