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Brussels, 19 May 2011

Message by President Barroso to Mr Enda Kenny, Taoiseach of Ireland, on the death of Dr. Garret FitzGerald, former Taoiseach of Ireland

"It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Dr. Garret FitzGerald, former Taoiseach of Ireland.

Dr. FitzGerald was a great leader of the Irish people and a committed and outstanding European.

As Minister for Foreign Affairs he pursued a pro-active European policy and led the highly successful first Irish Presidency of the EC Council of Ministers in 1975. As Taoiseach of Ireland he chaired the European Council in Dublin in December 1984 which cleared the way for Spanish and Portuguese membership of the European Communities.

Throughout his life Dr. FitzGerald was a passionate advocate of Ireland's active membership of the European Union. In 2009, he played a leading role in the campaign for the second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland.

We will remember him for the central role he played both in Ireland and in Irish-European relations, but also for his convictions, his brilliance, his energy and his friendliness.

On behalf of the European Commission and on my own behalf, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to his family and friends and to the people of Ireland on the loss of this eminent statesman.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis."

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