Former Taoiseach John Bruton has died at the age of 76.
In a statement, his family said he died peacefully at the Mater Hospital in Dublin early on Tuesday morning surrounded by his family, following a long illness.
John Bruton served as Taoiseach during the Rainbow Coalition government from December 1994 to June 1997, and was leader of Fine Gael between 1990 and 2001.
President Michael D Higgins, who served as Labour Party minister during John Bruton's time as Taoiseach, said he was a deeply committed politician, who demonstrated a life-long interest and engagement in public affairs and public service both in Ireland and internationally.
Current Taoiseach, and Fine Gael leader, Leo Varadkar, said "John was one of the reasons I became involved in politics and joined Fine Gael".
Mr Varadkar praised John Bruton's approach to peace in Northern Ireland.
"He strongly opposed violence as a means to advance political objectives and believed in unity through consent. He made a particular effort to reach out to the Unionist community. He advocated a new patriotism and opposed narrow nationalism.
"While these views are now held by the majority of people, that was not always the case and he was willing to lead, even when it meant going against the grain".
His family described him as "a good husband, a good father and a true patriot".
He is survived by his wife, Finola, and their four children, Matthew, Juliana, Emily and Mary-Elizabeth.
— Fine Gael (@FineGael) February 6, 2024