Tributes have been paid to the award-winning Irish screenwriter Frank Deasy, who has died at the age of 49.

The Dublin-born writer lived in Scotland and was awaiting a liver transplant at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary when he passed away early yesterday.

Frank Deasy spoke on RTÉ Radio 1's 'Liveline' programme on Monday, urging people to carry donor cards.

In response to his plea, the Irish Kidney Association received a record number of applications for organ donor cards this week.

In a statement, the writer's agent, Anthony Jones, said: "The film and television writer Frank Deasy died suddenly today [Thursday] at the age of 49.

"Among his best-known credits were the mini-series 'Looking After Jo Jo', 'Real Men', 'England Expects', the final mini-series of 'Prime Suspect', for which he won many awards including an International Emmy, and, last year, 'The Passion'.

"He was suffering from liver cancer and, in the past 10 days, his article in The Observer highlighting the lack of organ donors in Great Britain and Ireland generated an enormous response from the public and in particular from the Irish government.

"He leaves a wife and three young children."

Dougray Scott, who starred in Frank Deasy's recent RTÉ series 'Father and Son', said: "Today a great, great man was taken away from us. Very few times in life is one fortunate and blessed enough to meet a person like Frank Deasy.

"He was quite simply the most extraordinary and brilliant writer I have ever worked with and one of the most extraordinary and beautiful men I was blessed to have met.

"Whenever I spent time or talked with Frank I always felt the warmth, wisdom and sheer joy of life that I remember getting from my own father. That's how special he was to me.

"He had everything I admire in a human being. Protective, caring and loving to his very special wife and children. And brave. So brave. Frank Deasy will be with me always."

Frank Deasy's film credits included 'The Grass Arena' and 'Captives'; he was working on 'Gaza', starring Helen Mirren.

Jane Gogan, Commissioning Editor for Drama, RTÉ Television, said: "Frank Deasy was a writer for television and film who brought a tremendous honesty and passionate intensity to his work. Professionally Frank was coming into his own, working on a range of projects that were all major subjects: the 'Medicis' with BBC, a film project with Ridley Scott based on Philip K Dick's 'The Man in the High Castle' and, closest to his heart, was 'Gaza', a film that will star Helen Mirren. He was also preparing to start on a project for RTÉ following a family across 100 years.

"Frank was a delightful, intelligent and warm-hearted man who had a rich and tremendously happy family life with his wife Marie and their three children and it is for them that my thoughts are with now.

"He will be a big loss as a friend and inspiration to those he worked with but, more importantly, as a husband and father his loss will be incalculable. My deepest condolences are with Marie and their children and his wider family."