Deputy Martin said, “I was very saddened to learn of the passing of Peter Sutherland this morning.  Peter made an outstanding and distinguished contribution to public life in his capacity as an Attorney General, European Commissioner and first Director-General of the World Trade Organisation. In more recent times as the UN Special Representative for International Migration he was uncompromising in highlighting the rights of migrants and refugees.

“He was a champion of free trade and fair competition. He had a keen intellect and understood the changing nature of global trade and economy.

“Peter’s dedication to public service was not only confined to his work here in Ireland. In his capacity as European Commissioner for Competition he revolutionised competition and trade laws.  For example, the liberalization of the EU aviation sector owes much to his work as EU Commissioner.

“Personally, in my capacity as Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment and Minister for Foreign Affairs I had the opportunity to meet with Peter on many occasions. His commitment to Ireland was always constant. He advised successive Governments on global trends and always looked out for opportunities for Ireland. When I established the Global Irish Economic Forum he was an early and committed participant. He was a true patriot who had a great love for his country irrespective of his success on the world stage.

“I wish to extend my sympathies to his wife Maruja and his children Shane, Natalia and Ian. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.”