Politician Joe Walsh dies aged 71
Cross-party tributes have been paid to former government agriculture minister Joe Walsh after his death at the age of 71.
The long-time Fianna Fail representative for Cork South West died at Cork University Hospital after an illness.
He had two stints as agriculture minister between 1992 and 2004.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny passed his sympathy to the politician's family.
"I would like to send my deepest sympathy to Joe's wife, Marie, to his family and to the Fianna Fail party," he said.
"I knew Joe well throughout his career in the Oireachtas. He was a dedicated representative of the people of Cork South West and a hard-working and committed minister.
"He will be remembered in particular for his decisive and successful management of the foot-and-mouth crisis of 2001."
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin expressed his shock.
"Joe was a man of vision who had a profound impact on the development of Irish agriculture and food over a number of decades," he said.
"He devoted his entire life to public service and did so with immense skill and integrity."
Tanaiste and Labour Party leader Joan Burton said: "It is with a profound sense of sadness that I heard of Joe Walsh's passing earlier today.
"I served with Joe as a minister in the Fianna Fail-Labour coalition between 1992 and 1994. It was during this time that I witnessed at first hand his supreme command of the agriculture and food briefs."
She added: " On a personal level l always found Joe to be very pleasant and helpful to deal with.
"In recent times, he faced his illness with great fortitude and courage and on behalf of the Labour parliamentary party, I extend our deepest condolences to his widow Marie, their five children and grandchildren."