Former Irish Prime Minister Dr Garret Fitzgerald continues to fight for his life in a Dublin hospital.

Doctors at the Mater hospital have placed the one time Fine Gael leader on a ventilator.

Family members have continued to hold a bedside vigil as the 85-year-old battles chronic pneumonia.

Dr Fitzgerald was rushed to hospital last week after he became ill at his Dublin home.

His condition deteriorated rapidly and he has remained in a serious condition ever since.

A Fine Gael spokesman said on Sunday that: “Dr Fitzgerald’s condition remains unchanged and his family are at his bedside.”

A renowned economics expert, Dr Fitzgerald twice led Fine Gael-Labor coalition governments in the 1980s.

He campaigned for Yes votes in both the Lisbon Treaty referendums and still writes a political and economics column for the Irish Times.