Former ceann comhairle Tom Fitzpatrick dies

Former minister and Dáil ceann comhairle Tom Fitpzatrick has died aged 88.

Former minister and Dáil ceann comhairle Tom Fitpzatrick has died aged 88.

The native of Clones, Co Monaghan, was Fine Gael's last ceann comhairle serving between 1982 and 1987. He had previously held three ministerial portfolios: lands from 1973 1976; transport and power from 1976 to 1977; and fisheries and forestry from 1981 to 1982.

Mr Fitzpatrick was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 1965 and was re-elected on every subsequent occasion in Cavan (later Cavan/Monaghan) until his retirement in 1989.

He considered running for leadership of Fine Gael in the election that saw Garret Fitzgerald appointed leader in 1977 but decided that, at 60, age was against him.


He later became a trusted adviser to the Mr Fitzgerald, who later went on to become taoiseach.

The Head of the European Commission Delegation in Washington and former Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach John Bruton hailed Mr FitzPatrick's deep sense of public service.

"On numerous occasions he sacrificed his personal interests for the greater good of his country and party. He was both a commanding platform orator and wise judge of politics. He was a great personal friend to me throughout my political life," Mr Bruton said.

Fine Gael TD for Cavan/Monaghan Seymour Crawford said: "Tom was an absolute gentleman and friend to all who knew him regardless of background."

Mr Fitzpatrick is survived by his wife Carmel and children Geraldine and Tom.