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British Irish Parliamentary Assembly expresses sympathy at deaths of Garret FitzGerald and Brian Lenihan

Added 13-Jun-2011

At the 42nd plenary of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly that is taking place in Cork today and tomorrow, the Assembly formally expressed its sympathy at the recent deaths of former Taoiseach, Garret FitzGerald, and the former Minister for Finance and Deputy Leader of Fianna Fail, Brian Lenihan.

Addressing the Assembly, the new Irish Co-Chair, Joe McHugh said, "The British Irish Parliamentary Assembly would like to extend its sympathy to the families of Brian Lenihan and Garret FitzGerald who passed away in recent weeks. Both of these men were in their own way major figures in Irish public life and who served our country on the international stage.

"Brian Lenihan was always an advocate of close co-operation between Ireland and Britain and developed an extremely close relationship with successive Chancellors of the Exchequer during his period as Minister for Finance. He recognised the importance of our respective economies to each other and our unique trading relationship.

"He was a man of considerable intellect and was able to apply this to the considerable economic challenges that he had to confront in the last three years."

The British Co-Chair of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly, Lord Cope of Berkeley, added, "Garret FitzGerald held the highest offices as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Taoiseach. But above all that he was one of those stars who illuminate political life far more than the offices he held.

"We remember him particularly for his part in the Anglo Irish Agreement of 1985 and the cooperation between the British and Irish Governments which athat embodied and on which ultimately the peace process itself was built.

"We extend our sympathy to his family and friends. We will miss him and his column in The Irish Times."

This afternoon the Assembly will also discuss a motion of the murder of PSNI Officer Ronan Kerr earlier this year.


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