Tributes paid to former Tánaiste Peter Barry who has died

He was also a major shareholder in Barry's Tea

Tributes paid to former Tánaiste Peter Barry who has died

Former Fine Gael minister Peter Barry pictured at an Ard Fheis | Image: RollingNews.ie

Tributes are being paid to former Tánaiste Peter Barry, who has died at the age of 88.

Mr Barry was also a former minister and deputy leader of the Fine Gael party.

He served as a TD for Cork for almost 30 years, and held many Cabinet roles - including transport, education and the environment.

He was also a major shareholder in the family business, Barry's Tea. He is the father of Fine Gael MEP Deirdre Clune.

In one of his last interviews in June 2014, Mr Barry told Newstalk about his life and the famous Barry's Tea.

Peter Barry in his office at Iveagh House, Dublin in 1986 | Image: RollingNews.ie

A statement from Taoiseach Enda Kenny says Mr Barry passed away peacefully in Cork this morning surrounded by his family.

"Throughout his long and distinguished political career, Peter gave outstanding service to his country and to his native city," Mr Kenny says.

"In particular, his central and pivotal role in negotiating the Anglo Irish Agreement in 1985 helped to create the foundations on which the peace process in Northern Ireland was built."

“We also remember at this time Peter's late wife Margaret who was such a support to him throughout his career,"  he adds.

While President Michael D Higgins says Mr Barry "will be remembered by all who served in the Dáil with him, and indeed by the wider political community, for his great courtesy."

"His view of Irish history was a long one and he brought all that wisdom to bear in his contributions to achieving the Anglo Irish Agreement of 1985."

"As a person he was immensely popular across all parties and, of course, he had a deep commitment to Cork city and its heritage."

Peter Barry (far left) is seen with then-Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher after signing the Anglo Irish Agreement at Hillsborough, outside Belfast, in 1985 | Image: RollingNews.ie

"Peter Barry, in his non-political life, gained enormous respect internationally through his work in the family business. He will be deeply missed. Sabina and I would like to extend our sympathy to his family and wide circle of friends," Mr Higgins adds.

Alan Dukes is a former leader of Fine Gael. He paid tribute to Mr Barry on Newstalk Lunchtime.

Micheál Martin is the Fianna Fáil leader and TD for Cork South-Central.

He told Newstalk Lunchtime Mr Barry will be best remembered for his contribution in negotiating the Anglo-Irish Agreement.