President Michael D Higgins has led tributes to former Fianna Fáil TD and Senator, Professor Brian Hillery, who has died aged 83 after a short illness.
 
A native of Miltown Malbay in Co Clare, he was a nephew of former president Patrick Hillery, and served in the Seanad for several terms from 1977 up to the 1990s.

He also served as a TD for Dún Laoghaire from 1987 to 1992.

Prof Hillery had a distinguished career in academia and the corporate world, serving as Professor of Industrial Relations at UCD from 1974 to 1998.  

He also served as Ireland's representative on the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as a Director of the Central Bank, and on a number of public bodies advising the government.

He served on the Board of Independent News and media from 2003, succeeding Tony O'Reilly as Chair in 2009.
 
President Higgins said the news of Prof Hillery's death will be greeted with great sadness by all those with an interest in politics and  economics and by those who encountered him in a long life of public service.

He said he will be remembered as always courteous and a warm and intelligent man.
 
Professor Hillery is survived by his wife Miriam, his daughter and four sons.