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Former Taoiseach John Bruton dies aged 76

John Bruton - RIP
John Bruton - RIP (Image: johnbruton.com)

The former Fine Gael leader was Taoiseach from 1994 – 1997.

John Bruton died peacefully in the Mater Private Hospital in Dublin, surrounded by his family, in the early hours of this morning.

It’s understood the 76-year-old died following a long illness. In a statement, his family announced his death with “deep sadness.”

“He died peacefully in the Mater Private Hospital in Dublin, surrounded by his loving family, early this morning following a long illness.

“He was a good husband, a good father and a true patriot.

“We will miss him greatly,” they said.

John Bruton was first elected to the Dáil in 1969, when he was just 22 years old. He steadily made his way up the political ladder, serving two terms as Minister for Finance in the 1980s, as well as taking on the roles of Minister for Industry & Energy, and Minister for Trade, Commerce & Tourism.

He was the leader of Fine Gael from 1990 to 2001 and served as Taoiseach from 1994 – 1997.

Under his leadership, Fine Gael entered a Rainbow coalition government with the Labour Party and Democratic Left in December 1994.

After leaving Leinster House, he continued his work in politics, becoming the European Union Ambassador to the United States from 2004 to 2009.

Leading tributes to the former Taoiseach, Maria Walsh, MEP for the Midlands-North-West, wrote on X:

“Very saddened to learn of John Bruton’s death, peacemaker & politician of high regard.

“His legacy of public service will live on beyond us, history will keep his work alive, peace is his impact. Condolences to his family, friends, colleagues.”

Northern Ireland First Minister Michelle O’Neill also sent condolences to Mr Bruton’s family while speaking in the Assembly this morning.

“I want to pass on my condolences to the family of former Taoiseach John Bruton, who we’ve just been notified has sadly passed away,” she said.

“To his family and friends, we send them our condolences at this very sad time.”

Mr. Bruton is survived by his wife Finola, son Matthew, daughters Juliana, Emily and Mary-Elizabeth; as well as his brother Richard, sister Mary, and his extended family.

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