I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the former Taoiseach, John Bruton, earlier today.
John was a politician who proudly wore his principles on his sleeve, never hesitating to stand by them, even when it was not politically expedient. He passionately believed that politics should be a tool for delivering social justice to every individual within this State and to society at large.
It was John who encouraged me to enter politics in 1997, and I was honoured to be appointed by him to the Fine Gael Front Bench three years later as the Spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment. John was a man brimming with ideas and energy, imparting his passion to many of the younger members of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party during his leadership.
A staunch European, John relished his role as Europe’s first Ambassador to the United States, embodying the values and aspirations of our continent on the global stage.
In rural Ireland, we would say John was a ‘decent, hardworking man’—thoughtful, with a keen interest in agriculture, and his hearty laugh, synonymous with his good-natured spirit, resonated with all who knew him.
To Finola, Matthew, Juliana, Emily, and Mary-Elizabeth, to his brother Richard, and sister Mary, I extend my deepest sympathies on his passing.
John’s legacy as both a statesman and a sincere, compassionate individual will undoubtedly endure.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.