An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, has paid tribute to former Attorney General and EU Commissioner Peter Sutherland following the announcement of his death

-   Cliona Doyle

“Peter Sutherland was a statesman in every sense of the word; an Irishman, a committed European and a proud internationalist.

“He played a very important role in Irish public life throughout the 1980s, first as Attorney General and then as EU commissioner. Among his achievements was the creation of the Erasmus exchange programme which allows European students to study in other EU countries and which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year. His work on the Open Skies policy helped make low cost air travel across the continent possible and opened up Ireland to its tourism success.

“Peter Sutherland had a passion for public affairs and made a significant contribution to Ireland, Europe and the world over a number of decades.

“In recent years he dedicated his skills and extensive experience to serving for the United Nations where he was tireless in highlighting the plight of migrants. Throughout his life, he was a champion for individual and economic freedoms.

“I would like to extend my sincere sympathies to Peter’s wife, children and grandchildren. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h’anam.”

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