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Statement from President Higgins on the death of Brendan Halligan

Date: Sun 9th Aug, 2020 | 15:12

“The news of the death of Brendan Halligan will have been received with great sadness by all those with an interest in politics, economics and social justice, and particularly by his colleagues in the Labour Party.

Before his appointment as General Secretary of the Labour Party, Brendan Halligan had an experience in the co-operative movement and with his close friend Tony Brown had driven an imaginative form of social economics as economists with the Irish Sugar Company.

He brought to the Labour Party an emphasis on policy, an interest which he would hold for all of his life.

He took an early interest, one that never abated, in European affairs, and it was on his initiative that the Institute of European Affairs came into being.

His parliamentary career began in Seanad Éireann in the 1970s, a period which I shared with him as a colleague. He later became member of Dáil Éireann, but it was perhaps while serving as a member of the European Parliament that his interest in matters European flourished. He was deeply respected in the socialist group of the European Parliament and as a representative of the Labour Party in the Socialist International.

He bore his illness with great courage and patience. I last spoke to him after my video address on the future of Europe. His interest in European politics continued to that day.

Sabina and I send our sincere condolences to his family, and to all those who will have been deeply affected by his passing.”