Former Irish Prime Minister Dr Garret Fitzgerald is gravely ill at the Mater Hospital in Dublin.

Current Irish leader Enda Kenny has sent his best wishes to his Fine Gael colleague from New York.

The 85-year-old Fitzgerald was taken to the Dublin city centre hospital earlier this week after falling ill and is currently on a ventilator.

He is surrounded by his family as doctors treat the man who was twice Irish Prime Minister in the 1980s.

“I’m aware that he is in hospital and on a ventilator and I know that his family has been called to his side,” said Kenny in New York.

“I say a prayer for his health and well-being. I hope that he makes it through. He’s an Irish institution that we don’t deserve to lose at this stage.”

Dr Fitzgerald maintained a high public profile after his final term in office as leader of the Fine Gael-Labor coalition in 1987.

John Bruton, another former Prime Minister, also wished him well.

“I think everybody who knows him is praying that he will make a recovery. He’s a tremendous asset to the country,” said Bruton.

A spokeswoman for Dr FitzGerald confirmed that he was being treated in hospital and said that medical staff were carrying out tests to diagnose the cause of the illness.



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PHOTOS - The Taoisigh (Prime Ministers) of Ireland