Tributes were paid last night to a veteran Irish civil servant who played a key role in the peace process.
Dermot Nally is understood to have died suddenly in a Dublin hospital aged 82.
Having served five Irish premiers, the former government secretary was credited with helping forge a political settlement in Northern Ireland.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen said Mr Nally was a distinguished public servant who will be particularly remembered for his contribution over many years to resolving conflict on the island.
“With key roles at Sunningdale and in the development of the Anglo Irish Agreement, he continued to be involved after his retirement in December 1992,” said Mr Cowen.
The Taoiseach said Mr Nally's death will be noted with regret by all he worked with over the years. “Taoisigh, ministers and official colleagues alike had a high regard for his acumen,” he added.