Tributes have been paid to former TD, minister, and solicitor Mervyn Taylor, who has died aged 89.
Hildegarde Naughton (Minister of State at the Department of Justice with special responsibility for Civil and Criminal Justice) said: “As a pioneering Minister for Equality and Law Reform between 1993 and 1997, he will rightly be long remembered for steering the referendum that allowed for the introduction of divorce in Ireland, allowing people to rebuild their lives after unsuccessful marriages. “
Taylor also initiated the Employment Equality and Equal Status Acts in the Oireachtas, and enacted an amendment to the Interpretation Act to promote gender-inclusive language.
“His record as a Minister, and his service as a member of the Human Rights Commission, contributed substantially to greater levels of equality in Irish society, a contribution that will last long into the future,” the minister added.
“I would like to extend my condolences to his friends and family,” she said.
Former Labour leader Dick Spring said that Taylor was deeply committed to equality before the law, and was an extremely hard-working solicitor and public representative.
President Michael D Higgins said that the former Labour minister was a founding figure in the movement for equal access for all citizens before the law.
Taylor was also pivotal in introducing the Domestic Violence Act and the establishment of the National Disability Authority.
He was educated at Zion School Rathgar, Dublin 6, Wesley College, and Trinity College.
He worked for Herman Good Solicitors, alongside Herman Good and future district judge Hubert Wine.
Taylor later established his own firm of Taylor and Buchalter with the late Don Buchalter, and practised as a solicitor for over 50 years, before retiring from active practice in his 70s.
He offered consultancy to the firm of Taylor and Buchalter for most of his 70s.
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