Former minister and European commissioner Richard Burke has died aged 83

As Minister for Education, he removed the requirement for students to pass Irish to pass their Leaving Cert

Former minister and European commissioner Richard Burke has died aged 83

Former EU Comissioner and Fine Gael TD Dick Burke outside the Dail. Photo: RollingNews.ie

The former Education Minister and European commissioner Richard 'Dick' Burke has died.

He passed away peacefully at his home this morning, at the age of 83.

Mr Burke served as Minister for Education in the Fine Gael government led by Liam Cosgrave from 1973 until 1976.

During his time in office, he removed the requirement for students to pass Irish to pass their Leaving Cert and introduced Transition Year in secondary schools.

Mr Burke was twice appointed as an EU commissioner, and was responsible for Fine Gael joining the Christian Democrats in the European Parliament.

He was also a qualified barrister, and lectured in European Law at Leverett House in Harvard, Boston.

He is survived by his wife Mary, and five of their children.