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Liam Cosgrave's unique record of service

The former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, who has died at the age of 97, came from a family with an outstanding record of public service and made a massive contribution through his own long political career.

He first entered Dáil Éireann as a Fine Gael TD in 1943, sitting alongside his father, W. T. Cosgrave, who had previously been the first head of government in an independent Ireland, and went on to hold a range of senior offices.

As President Michael D. Higgins said yesterday, the late Mr Cosgrave, who was taoiseach during a period of major turmoil from 1973 to 1977, brought `energy, intellect as well as passion' to all his roles.

It was remarkable that, at the time of his death, he was both the oldest former prime minister in Europe and the last taoiseach to be born before the foundation of the Irish state, and all the tributes he received were well deserved.

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