Death of former Minister, Upperchurch man Dick Burke

Sad news

Former government minister and European Commissioner Dick Burke has died at the age of 83.

Mr Burke was first elected to the Dail for Dublin South in 1969 and was immediately appointed as chief whip of Fine Gael by Mr Cosgrave.

He was appointed minister for education on the formation of the Fine Gael-Labour coalition in 1973 and became Ireland’s second European Commissioner in 1976.

In 1974 he was one of a small number of Fine Gael TDs who voted with Mr Cosgrave against the family planning legislation introduced by their own government.

He returned to Ireland after his term in Brussels and was elected as a TD for Dublin West in the 1981 election. In 1982 he accepted an offer from the Fianna Fáil Taoiseach Charles Haughey to go to Brussels for a second term.

Mr Burke is survived by his wife Mary and six children. “It is with sadness that I have learned of the death of former Minister and EU Commissioner Richard Burke,” said President Michael D Higgins.

He was a native of Upperchuch in County Tipperary and is a past pupil of Thurles CBS.