Minister Flanagan offers condolences on death of Hans-Dietrich Genscher01 April 2016
"I learned with sadness of the death yesterday of Hans-Dietrich Genscher, who served as German Foreign Minister from 1974 until 1992, a period of tremendous upheaval for Germany and Europe.
"Minister Genscher was a figure of towering capacity and rightly enjoyed heroic status in Germany, given the pivotal role he played during the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent reunification of Germany.
"It should be recalled that Minister Genscher accompanied the then Chancellor Helmut Kohl to Dublin in April 1990 for a summit meeting during Ireland’s EU Presidency. It was at that historic summit that the European Union endorsed the reunification of Germany, which took place later that year.
"It should be recorded, too, that Hans-Dietrich Genscher was a strong advocate of European unity. Announcing his retirement from Parliament in 1998, he said: 'European unity is the answer to the mistakes of the Germans and of European history. It is the answer to a terrible world war'. These reasons stand even today.
"With the passing of Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Germany – and Europe – have lost a great statesman. I offer my sincere condolences to his family and to the German people.
"Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis."