Minister's tribute to late PD leader Des O'Malley

Taoiseach Micheál Martin also paid tribute, saying Mr O'Malley's life was one of "courage and consequence"

Tributes have been paid to former minister and leader of the Progressive Democrats, Des O'Malley, who has died aged 82.

Mr O'Malley served as a TD from 1968 until 2002.

He had been a prominent Fianna Fáil TD and minister, before founding the Progressive Democrat party which he led from 1985 until 1993.

A trained solicitor, he entered politics following the 1968 by-election where he filled the seat left by his late uncle Donogh O'Malley in Limerick East.

In 1970, the 31-year-old was appointed Minister for Justice under Taoiseach Jack Lynch, at at time many consider to be one of the most difficult and threatening times in the State’s history.

Among those to pay tribute to the late Mr O'Malley was current Minister for Justice, Heather Humphreys, who offered her sincere condolences to his family, friends and former colleagues.

“Des, his late wife Pat and their family endured great risk including threats from those who sought to undermine the authority of this State but Des never wavered in his duty and commitment to preserving our State and the safety and security of all its people,” said Minister Humphreys. “The steadfast service Des O’Malley gave to our State will never be forgotten by all those who cherish law and order.”

She added that Mr O'Malley was a “republican in the truest sense of the word”, and as “one who broke the mould of Irish politics” in helping to modernise Irish society and its economy. “May he rest in peace.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin also paid tribute, saying Mr O'Malley's life was one of "courage and consequence".

He said that Mr O'Malley “loved his country and was fearless in challenging those who used violence to undermine it.”