Boyzone star Keith Duffy has been honoured with the title of Philanthropist of the Year for his dedication to autism charities in Ireland.

The 39-year-old singer and actor was bestowed with the honour in Dublin yesterday (Jan 29) at the annual awards that honour those working in the charitable sector.

Duffy, who is a father to Jordan, 17 and Mia, 13 with his wife Lisa, first started fundraising and working with Irish Autism Action (IAA) after Mia was diagnosed with the condition when she was 18 months old.

Over the past number of year, the former Coronation Street star has helped to raise almost €4 million for the charity which has helped open 13 schools that follow the Applied Behavioural Analysis programme for autistic children.

Speaking about the awards, the organisation's CEO Tina Roche said: "[The awards] highlight the impact sustained long-term giving can have on a specific cause".

The Philanthropist of the Year awards are run by the Community Foundation for Ireland.