Tributes paid to former minister Austin Deasy
Tributes have been paid to former Fine Gael TD Austin Deasy, who has died aged 80.
Mr Deasy was a Fine Gael TD for Waterford from 1977 until his retirement in 2002.
He died at University Hospital Waterford following a short illness.
Mr Deasy served as Minister for Agriculture in Garret FitzGerald's Cabinet from 1982 to 1987. He was educated in Dungarvan and at University College Cork, where he qualified as a teacher, then taught at St Augustine's College.
He entered politics for the first time in 1967, when he became a member of Dungarvan Urban District Council. His son, John, followed him into the political world and is a sitting TD for Waterford.
Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar led tributes to Mr Deasy. He said: "I wish to convey my deepest sympathies to the Deasy family on the news that Austin Deasy has passed away. Austin had a long career in public service, first entering politics in 1967 on Dungarvan District Council.
"He went on to serve in the Cabinet, Dail and Seanad, and was well loved and respected by the people of Waterford, whom he was proud to represent, and, of course, the people of Dungarvan, which is my mother's home town."
Mr Deasy is survived by his wife Kathleen and his children John, Sally, Jane and Jamie.