Former Donegal TD Paddy Harte passes away

Fine Gael politician served as TD from 1961 to 1997

The Late Paddy Harte.

The Late Paddy Harte.

Former Donegal TD and minister of State Paddy Harte has passed away this morning.

The Fine Gael politician was elected to Donegal County Council in 1960 and to the DÁil as TD for Donegal North East the following year. He held the seat until 1997.

The Raphoe-based politician served as minister of state as well as spokesman on Northern Ireland.

Born in 1931, he was well-known in more recent times for his work to create a lasting memorial to Ireland’s First World War dead which resulted in the Island of Ireland Peace Park and Round Tower on Messines Ridge in Belgium.  

Donegal TD Joe McHugh paid tribute to Mr Harte. He said he had left a lasting peace process legacy through his cross-community and cross-Border work.

"I went into politics after Paddy but was acutely aware when I entered Dáil Éireann of his work before me for the people of County Donegal," said Minister McHugh.

"He also did incredible work to build bridges on this island during many dark days for our people and his lasting legacy will be the Island of Ireland Peace Park in Flanders, Belgium, which was officially opened by President McAleese in 1998.

"I want to express my deepest sympathies to his family and friends at this time. Go ndéana Dia trócaire air."

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