Tributes paid after Maurice Hayes passes away, aged 90
Dr Maurice Hayes has passed away aged 90.
Born in Co Down, Dr Hayes completed a PhD in English at Queen's University of Belfast and was a teacher in his early career.
Maurice was an independent member of the 21st and 22nd Seanads, and was nominated as a senator by the Taoiseach.
He was an author of three books of memoirs and wrote many pieces of journalism for the Irish Independent, and later became a long-serving non-executive director of Independent News & Media Plc, retiring in 2009.
He was a member of the Royal Irish Academy and the Research Ethical Committee of Queen's University Belfast medical school and a governor of the Linenhall Library, Belfast.
He was also a long-serving member of the Scholarship Board of the O'Reilly Foundation and a board member at Regtel.
A former county hurler, Dr Hayes was voted European Person of the Year in 2003.
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan paid tribute this afternoon, writing online; "Saddened at the passing of Maurice Hayes.
"A man of many talents. NI Ombudsman, Police reformer, Senator, Chair of Forum on Europe. Down GAA strategist.
"Always balanced fair & even handed on Northern Ireland matters. Rest in peace."