Former BP chief Peter Sutherland dies at 71

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Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said Sutherland was "an Irishman, a committed European and a proud internationalist".

In a statement, Mr Sutherland's family said the 71-year-old succumbed to an infection despite the best efforts of medical staff.

He is survived by his wife, children and ten grandchildren.

Trained as a lawyer, Sutherland was Ireland's attorney general between 1981 and 1984.

"He was a giant of Irish, European and global public life".

Mr Sutherland's successes over the course of his distinguished career were recognised by a host of awards and honorary doctorates from all across Europe, the U.S. and further afield.

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He was appointed in 2006 the United Nations special representative for worldwide migration and held that post until his death.

Praising his global contribution to business, politics and human rights, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Sunday described Sutherland as "a giant of Irish, European and worldwide public life".

He later became an influential businessman and, among his other roles, served as chairman of investment bank Goldman Sachs for 20 years up until 2015.

"I was privileged to work with him and to count him as a friend".

He said he had worked to ensure greater transparency in the administration of the Vatican's financial system and had reformed the International Catholic Committee of Migration and brought it into good working commission with the United Nations bodies.

Mr Sutherland went on to serve as Ireland's representative in the European Commission.

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"His contribution internationally to business, politics, migration and human rights will not be forgotten", Juncker said.

Mr Sutherland, who was credited with leading a successful drive for cheap air fares, had a glittering career, and political leaders spoke about the important contribution he made over many decades.

He said, "I was very saddened to learn of the passing of Peter Sutherland this morning".

"He was a champion of free trade and fair competition".

"Peter's dedication to public service was not only confined to his work here in Ireland". For example, the liberalization of the EU aviation sector owes much to his work as EU Commissioner.

"A true patriot who had the interests of Ireland at heart", he said.

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