President Higgins has paid tribute to Dr Tiede Herrema who has died aged 99.
The Dutch industrialist was kidnapped by the IRA and held for 36 days in 1975.
He was eventually released unharmed from a house in Monasterevin in County Kildare, following a siege.
President Michael D Higgins said it was with deep sadness he learned of the death of Dr. Herrema.
“It is with deep sadness that I have learned of the death earlier today of Dr. Tiede Herrema, so soon after the death of his beloved wife Elisabeth.
“I had the privilege of meeting Tiede and Elisabeth on many occasions, including at Áras an Uachtaráin during their regular trips to Ireland.”
The President added that the businessman held no bitterness towards his abductors and still had a good relationship with Ireland.
“Dr. Herrema, who had endured such a traumatic kidnapping, harboured no bitterness towards his abductors and had maintained a very strong bond with Ireland. Both he and Elizabeth accepted honorary Irish citizenship. They will be missed, and fondly remembered by their many friends in Ireland.
“Sabina and I send our deepest condolences to their four sons, wider family and friends.”