The Taoiseach has led tributes to former TD Bobby Aylward who has died aged 67.
Mr Aylward was a Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow-Kilkenny from 2007 to 2011 and again from 2015 to 2020, when he lost his seat in the last general election.
In a statement overnight, the Taoiseach said he deeply saddened at the death of his colleague and ‘very good friend’.
I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of my very good friend Bobby Aylward. Bobby was a deeply committed public representative.
He loved his people and they clearly loved him. He loved his county, his country and his Party and left his mark on each.https://t.co/6jwGUR5k24 pic.twitter.com/2v4mQ3jAg4
— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) July 14, 2022
“Bobby displayed an unending commitment to, and passion for, his constituents,” he said. “He was tireless in his efforts to improve their lives and was continually advocating for them.
“Bobby continued the strong Aylward tradition of hard work, delivery and representation for his constituents and gave a tremendous amount to the people of Carlow Kilkenny over the years.”
Mr Martin praised his former colleague’s “infectious energy and enthusiasm” noting that he had all the “best attributes that a public representative should possess: passion, sincerity, empathy, a commitment to his people and his place.”
“Bobby loved his people and they clearly loved him,” he said. “He loved his county, his country and his Party and left his mark on each. Bobby was passionate about agriculture and community and rural development. “
He expressed his deepest sympathies to Mr Aylward’s family.