Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has led tributes to former Minister for Finance Richie Ryan, who has passed away aged 90.

Mr Ryan was Minister for Finance in Liam Cosgrave's Government from 1973 to 1977.

He will be remembered for holding the finance portfolio in turbulent times as Ireland faced recession during the oil crisis. 

He was first elected to the Dáil in Dublin South West in a by-election in July 1959. He was re-elected as a TD in several Dublin constituencies in six subsequent general elections.

Mr Ryan was also an MEP from 1973, when Ireland joined the EEC, up to 1977 and again from 1979 until 1989. 

In the Dáil, he served as Fine Gael spokesperson on Health and Social Welfare from 1966 to 1970, and on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland from 1970-1973.

Paying tribute to him Mr Varadkar said: "During the 1970s oil crisis and the years that followed, Richie  proved himself a capable and steady pair of hands during a turbulent economic time.

"Having represented Ireland at European level, he went on to top the polls during the first direct elections to the European Parliament in 1979 and again in 1984."

Mr Ryan served as a member of the European Court of Auditors from 1986 to 1994. 

Mr Varadkar added: "Though not having had the privilege to serve alongside Richie, the legacy of distinguished and selfless service he gave Fine Gael, his constituents and the country remains a benchmark for those of us in public service today."

Mr Ryan was pre-deceased by his wife Mairéad and he is survived by his five children and their families. His funeral will take place in Dublin on Wednesday.