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'She will be greatly missed': Tributes paid to former TD Monica Barnes

Barnes passed away at the age of 82.

File Photo Monica Barnes Has Died. End. Monica Barnes

TRIBUTES HAVE BEEN paid to former Fine Gael TD Monica Barnes who has died at the age of 82.

Barnes represented the Dún Laoghaire constituency in Dublin and was first elected in 1982 to the Dáil.

President Michael D Higgins was among the dozens to pay tributes to Barnes.

“I am very saddened to learn of the death of former TD and Senator Monica Barnes who provided exceptional public service to the people of Dún Laoghaire and Ireland over many years,” Higgins said.

Monica was a proud feminist and championed women’s rights throughout her parliamentary career and beyond. She was a pioneer in the struggle for a space for women’s rights to be discussed.

“Indeed, she chaired the Oireachtas Committee on Women’s Rights and was a passionate advocate for all aspects of women’s empowerment. Her distinguished career also included serving on the Council of State from 1990 to 1995,” he said.

“I know she will be greatly missed by all who knew and served with her.”

Women for Election paid tribute to Barnes this evening.

Fine Gael TD Frances Fitzgerald said that she was “deeply shocked” to hear of the death of Barnes.

“Monica made a critical and important contribution to improving women’s lives in Ireland. She was a strong voice in Dáil Éireann at a time when there were few female elected representatives and indeed few women in public life,” Fitzgerald said.

“Monica was an inspiration to me and many other women who followed her into the Dáil. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her,” she added.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said that Barnes was a “courageous and outspoken voice in Irish politics at a time when progressive voices were few and far between”.

Fearless yet courteous, Monica made friends across the political spectrum, and I know that there are many people in Leinster House and across the country who will mourn her passing today.

“Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dhílis.”

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