Conor Cruise O'Brien was an opponent of republicanism
The former Irish government minister and journalist Conor Cruise O'Brien has died aged 91.
A son-in-law of ex-deputy taoiseach Sean McEntee, he was minister for posts and telegraphs in the Fine Gael-Labour coalition government of the 1970s.
He was an outspoken opponent of republicanism and was for a period a member of Robert McCartney's United Kingdom Unionist Party in NI.
He is survived by his wife Maire and two sons, Patrick and Donal.
Dr Cruise O'Brien was born in Dublin in November 1917, the son of a journalist.
He was raised a Catholic but soon rejected religion.
In 1961, when the Congo was threatened with civil war, he was chosen by the United Nations Secretary General to be a special representative to the country which had become newly independent.
Dr O'Brien stood in the 1969 Dail elections and won the North-East Dublin seat for Labour.
He became his party's spokesman on foreign affairs and particularly on the civil unrest in Northern Ireland.
He lost his seat in 1977 but was elected to the Senate two months later.
He became editor-in-chief of the Observer newspaper in 1978 and held the post for three years.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen described Dr O'Brien as a leading figure in Irish life in many spheres since the 1960s.
He said he had never doubted "his sincerity or his commitment to a better and more peaceful Ireland".