I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Eddie McGrady today, a true gentleman who had a passion for peace and public service.

Eddie was a committed public servant and loyally served his constituents in South Down for many years.  He was a voice of reason and of reconciliation, a voice that will be missed both north and south.

Eddie was held in high esteem across the political spectrum.  He will be remembered for his hard work and good humour.  I recall having the great privilege as Minister for Foreign Affairs of hosting a dinner at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Eddie’s honour.  Here, his many friends had the opportunity to tell him of his influence over many years and thank him for his tireless efforts to bring communities together.

Eddie always enjoyed a massive vote at election time in South Down, a testament to his ability to draw support from all sections of the community and serve all of the people with dignity and respect.  On behalf of the Fianna Fáil organisation I want to extend my deepest sympathies to Eddie’s children Paula, Jerry and Conaill and his entire family circle. 

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.