Europe

State funeral for former Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald

Garret FitzGerald with Margaret Thatcher after the signing of the Anglo Irish Agreement
Image caption Garret FitzGerald with Margaret Thatcher after the signing of the Anglo Irish Agreement

Former Irish Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald will be buried following a state funeral in Dublin on Sunday.

Mr Fitzgerald died on Wednesday after a short illness. He was 85 years old.

He was Fine Gael taoiseach at the time of the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985.

His body will lie in repose in Dublin's Mansion House on Saturday. He will be buried following a funeral Mass in Donnybrook on Sunday.

A book of condolence will be opened and members of the public will be able to pay their respects at the Mansion House on Saturday.

Mr FitzGerald served twice as taoiseach between 1981 and 1987 at the head of two coalition governments.

The Queen described him as a "true statesman" who would be greatly missed.

He retired from the Dail in 1992, but still took part in political campaigns, particularly on the Nice and Lisbon Treaties.

He lectured in economics before he was elected to the Seanad (the Irish Senate) in 1965 and the Dail in 1969.

When Fine Gael entered government in 1973 he was appointed foreign affairs minister.

He also played a leading role in the Sunningdale Agreement negotiations which led to the short-lived power-sharing executive in Northern Ireland.

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