Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has expressed his deep sadness on the death of Austin Currie.
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Austin Currie, and extend my sympathies to his family.
“A pioneer of the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland, Austin was one of the outstanding politicians of his generation, highlighting discrimination against nationalists in issues like housing with a famous sit-in protest at Caledon. He helped to organise one of the first Civil Rights marches in Northern Ireland, and went on to co-found the Social Democratic & Labour Party with John Hume and Gerry Fitt.
“Austin moved his political career south of the border in the 1980s and became a Fine Gael TD in Dublin West, the constituency which I am currently honoured to represent alongside his daughter, Senator Emer Currie. He served as a Minister for Children’s Affairs in the Rainbow Coalition under Taoiseach John Bruton, before retiring from politics in 2002.
“I knew Austin as a brave, courageous, and principled man. He was blessed with extensive political insight and boundless humanity.
“Above all, he cared most about bringing peace to this island by peaceful means, something he worked towards throughout his political career, and was vehemently opposed to political violence.
“My thoughts are today with his family, and his extensive circle of friends and acquaintances.
“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”