[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 June 2006, 20:34 GMT 21:34 UK
Reaction to ex-Taoiseach's death
Charles Haughey

Leading political figures have been giving their reaction to the death of former Taoiseach Charles Haughey, who was widely considered to be the most controversial Irish politician of his generation.

Mr Haughey died on Tuesday at the age of 80 after a long illness.

BERTIE AHERN, IRISH PRIME MINISTER

Mr Ahern, who is also the present-day leader of Mr Haughey's Fianna Fail party, said his death was "a very sad occasion, and marks the passing of an era".

"Charles Haughey made a huge impact on Irish life over a 35-year political career spanning from the late 1950s.

"He had an immense ability to get things done and he inspired great loyalty amongst many of his followers both inside and outside Fianna Fail.

"In recent times, these achievements have become clouded by the revelations that are the subject of inquiry by the Moriarty Tribunal.

"History will have to weigh up both the credit and the debit side more dispassionately than may be possible today, but I have no doubt its ultimate judgement on Mr Haughey will be a positive one."

MARK DURKAN, SDLP LEADER

"Far beyond the character questions, the revelations and speculation recent years have raised, Charles Haughey should be remembered as a man who has made a positive and distinctive contribution to national life in Ireland.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan
Mark Durkan said Mr Haughey played a key early role in the peace process
"Innovative, thoughtful and committed as a minister, as taoiseach he directly helped to incubate and nurture the peace process.

"He was a charismatic figure, who I found to always be personally gracious. He inspired many emotions in his career, which is a mark of his life and times and various achievements.

"At a personal level and on behalf of the SDLP, I extend our condolences to his wife, family and friends."

MARY MCALEESE, IRISH PRESIDENT

"For 35 years, Charlie Haughey played a highly significant, central and leading role in national politics.

Irish President Mary McAleese
Irish President Mary McAleese said Mr Haughey had charm and wit
"A proud man of considerable ability, charm, wit and intelligence, he was a skilled parliamentarian and an innovative legislator.

"Over the long years of his dynamic career, he weathered many storms and faced more than his share of drama and controversy.

"He confronted his long final illness with much dignity, grace and courage.

"He was deeply loved and will be hugely missed by his family, supporters and many friends at home and abroad."

SIR REG EMPEY, ULSTER UNIONIST PARTY LEADER

"Most unionists will remember Mr Haughey from his early days when he was implicated in the arms scandal.

Sir Reg Empey
Sir Reg said Mr Haughey was the last of the old Fianna Fail bosses

"Many also believed that he and others were involved in the setting up of the Provisional IRA.

"He will also be remembered for his statement that Northern Ireland was a 'failed political entity'.

"He made good decisions for the Republic's economy, particularly the setting up of the financial services centre.

"His death will mark the passing of the last of the old Fianna Fail bosses."

JOHN HUME, FORMER SDLP LEADER

"My deepest sympathies are with Charlie's wife Maureen and his family, and I am sure there is total sympathy throughout this country with the Haughey family.

"Throughout his political career, particularly as taoiseach, peace and justice in the north was right at the top of his agenda.

"He strongly supported my dialogue with Gerry Adams and he worked very closely with me in getting the Downing Street Declaration which led to the ending of violence."

GERRY ADAMS, SINN FEIN LEADER

Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams extended his condolences to Haughy family

"On behalf of Sinn Fein I would like to extend my condolences to the family of Charlie Haughey on his death in Dublin this morning.

"Republicans, like everyone else on the island, will have mixed feelings on his contribution to Irish society but that is a debate for another day.

"Today is a time to allow his family to grieve and our thoughts are with them."

DAVID FORD, ALLIANCE PARTY LEADER

"Charlie Haughey's name has its negative associations, but his positive contribution to Irish political life must not be overlooked.

"It was his government in the mid-80s which set the Republic of Ireland on the road to economic boom, a development which has allowed that country to make a positive contribution to the political process on this side of the border.

"It is fair to recognise those positive steps at this sad time for his friends and family circle."

JIM ALLISTER, DUP

Mr Allister said Mr Haughey "showed an animus towards Northern Ireland which pervaded his belligerent approach".

"Objective history will not judge Charles Haughey well.

"In office his corruptive style brought southern politics into disrepute as he made sleaze and trickery his speciality."




FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific