Jacques Chirac in Dublin with With then Taoisigh John Bruton in 1996 (top) and Bertie Ahern (above) in 2000

This morning.

Jacques Chirac, the French president who led his country into Europe’s common currenc, has died aged 86.

After leaving office, Chirac was pursued by allegations of corruption from his years as mayor of Paris, becoming France’s first former head of state to stand trial and be convicted since World War II.

He also coined a phrase that has become a landmark of France’s climate policies since: “our house is burning down and we’re blind to it,” he said in a speech in 2002.

Chirac: Political chameleon who charmed France (BBC)

Jacques Chirac, tall, handsome and charismatic French statesman whose career was dogged by rumours of sleaze (Telegraph)