Former Fine Gael TD Monica Barnes has died at the age of 82.

She served as a TD for Dún Laoghaire for 15 years, having been first elected to the Dáil in 1982.

Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar has expressed condolences to her family and friends.

In a statement, he said: "Monica Barnes was an inspiration for so many people in the Fine Gael party and beyond.

"She was particularly inspirational for women and younger members of our party.

"Monica gave great service to Fine Gael and to the people of Dún Laoghaire, having been encouraged to enter the political arena by Garret FitzGerald (former taoiseach), as a result of her work in the women's movement."

He added: "Monica spent her political career as an advocate for women and a champion of policies to bring about progressive change.

"She was always willing to speak her mind and she was a fearless campaigner for change at a time when it was not always easy".