- 08 Jan 18
The former attorney general and businessman, who passed away last night, has been described as having been "one of the most outstanding personalities in modern Irish life".
The 71-year-old Dubliner was a member of the Fine Gael party and at one time back in the early 1970s ran for the party but failed to win seat.
He was a qualified barrister and was the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration until last year.
Sutherland, who once scooped the European Person of the Year Award, was founding Director-General of The World Trade Organisation and was also a former Chairman of Goldman Sachs International (1995–2015).
Irish President Michael D. Higgins leads the tributes this morning, describing Peter Sutherland as a great advocacy on behalf of migrants.
Labour Leader Brendan Howlin said: "Peter was an Irish giant on the international stage but a man who never forgot where he came from.
"While we may have had political differences his commitment to internationalism and multilateralism through his career was consistent and deeply felt.
"At this difficult moment I and the Labour Party send our condolences to his family, his friends and his political family."
Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin all paid tribute, saying: “I was very saddened to learn of the passing of Peter Sutherland this morning. Peter made an outstanding and distinguished contribution to public life in his capacity as an Attorney General, European Commissioner and first Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.
"In more recent times as the UN Special Representative for International Migration he was uncompromising in highlighting the rights of migrants and refugees.
“He was a champion of free trade and fair competition. He had a keen intellect and understood the changing nature of global trade and economy.
“Peter’s dedication to public service was not only confined to his work here in Ireland. In his capacity as European Commissioner for Competition he revolutionised competition and trade laws.
"For example, the liberalization of the EU aviation sector owes much to his work as EU Commissioner."
He adds: “Personally, in my capacity as Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment and Minister for Foreign Affairs I had the opportunity to meet with Peter on many occasions. His commitment to Ireland was always constant.
"He advised successive Governments on global trends and always looked out for opportunities for Ireland.
"When I established the Global Irish Economic Forum he was an early and committed participant.
"He was a true patriot who had a great love for his country irrespective of his success on the world stage."
Here's a video clip of Peter being interviewed by Gay Byrne: