Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin has expressed his sadness following the death of former Liberal Democrats leader Paddy Ashdown.

Deputy Martin said, “It was with great sadness that I learned of Paddy Ashdown’s death last night.  Paddy was an outstanding parliamentarian and a courageous politician, who made a huge contribution to his party and his country.

“He was an exceptional statesman, who led with principle and passion and who argued for and pushed the cause of liberalism.

“I want to extend my sympathies to Paddy’s family, friends, and colleagues in our sister party the Liberal Democrats.  He will be sadly missed but fondly remembered.

“Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.”