FORMER Fine Gael TD and RTE television presenter Ted Nealon has died at the age of 84.
Mr Nealon was also well known as the founder and editor of 'Nealon's Guide to the Dail and Seanad', which has been a widely used political reference book over the years.
He was a Dail deputy for Sligo/Leitrim from 1981 until he retired in 1997 and served as a junior minister on three separate occasions in Fine Gael/Labour coalition governments.
Mr Nealon, who played inter-county football for Sligo, was a highly regarded presenter on RTE current affairs programmes, such as '7 Days', before entering politics.
Former Taoiseach John Bruton paid tribute to Mr Nealon as a "talented press spokesman for the party", adding: "He will be missed, especially in his native Sligo, which he loved so much."
Fine Gael Minister of State for Small Business John Perry said: "He was a true legend of politics, both here in Sligo and at a national level.
"He was a truly inspirational figure, whose opinion was highly respected and revered across the political divide.
"His loss will be felt not only by his family, but by his many friends, neighbours and erstwhile colleagues."
Mr Perry added: "To his wife Jo, his son Fergal and daughter Louise and his extended family, I extend my deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.''