The death has taken place of the musician Noel Kelehan. He was 76.

A former Musical Director at RTÉ and conductor of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, he was one of Ireland's best-known and most highly regarded musicians.

A renowned conductor, jazz pianist, arranger and composer, he wrote the string arrangements for U2's 1984 album The Unforgettable Fire and was known to TV audiences throughout Europe as conductor of many Irish entries to the Eurovision Song Contest between 1966 and 1998.

Noel Kelehan conducted five winning Irish Eurovision entries: in 1980 (What's Another Year?), 1987 (Hold Me Now), 1992 (Why Me?), 1993 (In Your Eyes) and 1996 (The Voice).

In total, he conducted 29 Eurovision entries, 24 of them Irish. He retired as conductor in 1998.

Noel Kelehan is survived by his wife Mary, his daughter Carol and his sons Simon and Brian.

Paying tribute, Anthony Long, General Manager of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, said: "We wish to extend our deepest sympathies to Noel's family. He will be much missed by RTÉ and particularly the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, with whom he had a very special relationship for over 30 years as a conductor, composer, arranger and not least a remarkable player. Ireland has lost a great talent. May he rest in peace."

RTÉ Director General Noel Curran said: "Through his work with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, on Television and above all at so many Eurovision Song Contests, Noel Kelehan became indelibly associated with Music at RTÉ and with musical excellence as an expression of Ireland's confident participation in the wider world. He was greatly liked by his many colleagues in RTÉ who knew him as a warm person and as tremendous company. He will be missed by all who knew him."