Justin Keating former Labour Party Minister, veterinary surgeon and journalist has died.

Justin Keating served at different times as a Labour Party member of the Dáil, the Seanad and the European Parliament. He was one of the new wave of TDs, first elected in 1969, who brought new life and vigour to Irish politics.

Justin served with distinction as Minister for Industry and Commerce between 1973 and 1977, a period during which the country faced huge economic difficulties as a result of the oil crisis.

Prior to entering politics he had a distinguished career as a senior lecturer in veterinary medicine.

He was also an award winning broadcaster in the early days of RTÉ.

More recently Justin Keating was involved in writing, academic ventures and was honorary President of the Humanist Association of Ireland.

Eamon Gilmore Labour Leader said 'Mr Keating was an exceptionally able and talented individual who always used his considerable intellectual powers for the betterment of others.'

Enda Kenny Fine Gael leader described him 'as a man of deep principles who worked tirelessly in the Department of Industry and Commerce.'

He died last night at home after a long illness just a week short of his 80th birthday.

He is survived by his wife Barbara and three children.