PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins has led tributes to Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez who died yesterday.
The 58-year-old president died last night after a two-year battle with cancer. He had suffered multiple complications following his latest operation on 11 December and had not been seen in public since then.
Mr Higgins said: "President Chavez achieved a great deal during his term in office, particularly in the area of social development and poverty reduction."
He continued: "I extend my sincere condolences to the family of President Chavez on their great loss. My thoughts and best wishes are also with the people of Venezuela as they come to terms with this sad news."
The death was announced by Vice President Nicolas Maduro, surrounded by other government officials, in a national television broadcast.
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said that he learned with “sadness” of the death of Chavez.
Gilmore said Chavez was “an important figure on the international stage, as well as in his own country, and I would like to extend my sincere condolences to his family and to the people of Venezuela on his passing.”