The Labour Party TD, Pat Upton, died suddenly today of a heart attack. He was 54 years old. The Dublin South Central deputy is survived by his wife Anne, three sons and a daughter. He suffered a massive heart attack this morning at the UCD Veterinary College in Dublin where he lectured occasionally. He was taken to Saint Vincent's Hospital and his death was officially confirmed around lunchtime today.
Labour Party Leader, Ruairí Quinn said he was shocked and saddened by the death of his friend and colleague. Mr Quinn said Pat Upton was a man of absolute integrity who played a key role in the development of the Labour Party during the last decade. Mr Quinn accepted that thoughts of a by-election in the four seater were the furthest thing on his mind today.
The Taoiseach said today that he learned of the death of Pat Upton with the most profound regret. He said "it is a real tragedy that this fine parliamentarian should be snatched from our midst in his prime. I know he will be an immense loss to his colleagues in the Labour party and we extend our sympathies to them." Fine Gael leader John Bruton said Pat Upton had one of the sharpest brains in Dáil Eireann. He said it was tragic that his immense potential as a politician will not be realised. Trevor Sargent of the Green Party described Pat Upton as "an extremely hardworking politician. He was also an erudite and incisive speaker and you always felt that he was speaking his mind and believed in what he was saying. His death is a tragic loss for all of us at Dáil Eireann." President McAleese has also paid tribute to Pat Upton. The President said Dr Upton had been a tireless campaigner on behalf of others, in his work as a public representative and as a university lecturer.
Born in Kilrush, Count Clare, Pat Upton was educated at St Flannan's College in Ennis, UCG Galway and UCD in Dublin where he received a doctorate in veterinary science. He served in the Seanad from 1989 until 1992 when he was elected to the Dáil. He topped the poll in his 4 seater constituency that year and dramatically increased the Labour vote. Pat Upton was re-elected to the Dáil in 1997 and was spokesperson on sport and communications up until his death.