Former Minister of State for Agriculture Michael D’Arcy has died.

The Wexford man, who served as a TD for 18 years between 1977 and 2002, was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture in the shortlived coalition government of 1981.

That government fell in early 1982, but Fine Gael and Labour were back in power following the November 1982 election. D’Arcy was again appointed a junior minister, this time at the separate Department of Fisheries and Forestry.

In early 1986, D’Arcy’s outspoken opposition to a proposed land tax saw him fired from cabinet by Taoiseach Garrett Fitzgerald.

D’Arcy was a farmer himself, in Annagh, near Gorey in north Wexford. He is credited locally as being influential in the development of the Irish Country Meats sheep plant in Camolin and Walsh Mushrooms’ large plant near Gorey.

He is survived by his wife Marie, children Jude, Michael (who also served as a TD), and Liam. His daughter Shirley predeceased him.