Harney, after she stepped down as leader of the Progressive Democrats.
David Ford stated: “When Mary Harney became Leader of the Progressive Democrats, the Republic of Ireland was among Western Europe’s poorest countries and terrorist atrocities remained an almost daily occurrence in Northern Ireland. She has made an outstanding contribution to that turnaround.
“Under her leadership, her party has punched well above its weight, and has gained influence and widespread support among fellow Liberals across Europe.
“I am sure Mary will continue to make a positive contribution to the political scene. I look forward to working with her successor.”