Former TD Peter Mathews dies aged 65

Leo Varadkar said Ireland has "lost one of its true gentlemen"

Former TD Peter Mathews dies aged 65

Peter Mathews. Photo: Laura Hutton/RollingNews.ie

Tributes have been paid to the former TD Peter Mathews, who has died aged 65.

Mr Mathews announced last year that he had been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.

Despite the diagnosis, he continued to run for re-election in Dublin-Rathdown, but he ultimately lost his seat.

Having previously worked as a chartered accountant and banker, Mathews served as a TD between 2011 and 2016. He was a regular commentator in the media following the financial crisis.

After being elected to the Dáil as a member of Fine Gael, Mr Mathews resigned from the party in 2013.

He had previously lost the party whip after voting against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.

He served the remainder of his term as an independent.

Tributes

A number of Mr Mathews' former Oireachtas colleagues paid tribute this morning.

Fianna Fáil leader Michéal Martin said "Peter was a gentlemen who was a considerate, compassionate and a hard worker".

He added: "He was a diligent and dedicated public representative who worked tirelessly on behalf of his constituents. Peter was a principled man who was not afraid to stand up for what he believed in."

Fine Gael's Josepha Madigan said: "He was clear and outspoken in his views and was very well loved by the people of his constituency in Dublin South.

"I wish to extend my deepest condolences to his wife Susan and family. He will be sadly missed."

Catherine Martin, Green Party TD in Dublin-Rathdown, described Mathews as a "no-nonsense politician of conviction".

She said: "[He] became one of the expert commentators, who demystified to the public the cause and collapse of banking in this country at the time of the onset of the recession.

"His independent thinking and intellectual vigour will be missed but most of all his fundamental decency and warmth is a great loss to all who had the privilege of knowing him."

Others took to social media to pay tribute to Mr Mathews: