The concert promoter Jim Aiken has died following a short illness.

The 74-year-old brought artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Justin Timberlake to Ireland.

Mr Aiken was a teacher before entering the music industry more than 40 years ago.

He was part of the consortium that brought HMV to Ireland and played Gaelic football for his county, Armagh.

He is survived by his wife, son, four daughters and 11 grandchildren.

President McAleese expressed her deep sadness on learning of the death last night of Jim Aiken.

It has been revealed that she made a private visit to Mr Aiken's house in South Belfast last Thursday when she carried out a number of official engagements in the city.

President McAleese described the promoter as a hugely talented entrepreneur who, for decades, had provided rich entertainment to music-lovers throughout Ireland. 

With great vision, he developed venues such as Stormont, bringing world-class performers to this island, she said.

The Editor of Hot Press, Niall Stokes, described Jim Aiken as a towering figure in Irish music.