'Intelligent, wise and amusing man'


KISSINGER TRIBUTE:FORMER US secretary of state Henry Kissinger described Dr Garret FitzGerald as an intelligent and amusing man who was dedicated to his country.

He said he got to know Dr FitzGerald shortly after Ireland joined the EU. At the time, Dr FitzGerald was minister for foreign affairs and in that capacity they met several times.

The two men learned the intricacies of the EU together and were amused by the complexity of some of its procedures.

“He knew who he was and I greatly enjoyed my meetings with him,” he said. “I thought he was intelligent, wise and amusing, all in one package . . . it was refreshing . . . we remained in touch for decades afterwards,” he told yesterday’s This Week programme on RTÉ.

Mr Kissinger, who served as secretary of state from 1973 to 1977 and who was a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, said Dr FitzGerald was deeply dedicated to his country and devoted to his family.

He added: “There are people in one’s life that one is comforted for knowing that they are there even if you don’t see them too frequently . . . more because you feel this is somebody whose values you could always trust whether you agree with every last thing or not.”

Dr FitzGerald was one such person, he added.