Garret FitzGerald hit by swine flu scare in France

Quarantine: Former Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald

Former Irish Prime Minister Garret FitzGerald has been quarantined in a swine flu scare in France.

FitzGerald is one of about 20 Irish people who have been quarantined at a French chateau as authorities try to clamp down on the A(H1N1) virus.

FitzGerald was holidaying in the Auvergne region with several friends and relatives and they had rented the French castle for one month.

However, authorities have put everyone in quarantine after two of the group, named only as a young Irish couple, developed flu-like symptoms.

French police say expect to have the results later today.

FitzGerald's daughter told the French press that they were trying to keep a sense of perspective about the scare.

"We understand that there are precautions, procedures to respect at this time and we mustn't get upset over nothing," she added.

The chateau is set on several acres of parkland and includes a heated swimming pool for the guests.

FitzGerald, now 83, is one of Ireland's much-loved elder statesmen. He served as Taoiseach, (Prime Minister) from 1981 to 1987.