The death has taken place of animator and director Jimmy Murakami, an influential figure in Irish animation. He was 80.

The Japanese-American had a long and distinguished career; among his best-known works are the animated adaptations of the Raymond Briggs books When the Wind Blows and The Snowman.

Living and working in Ireland for many years, Murakami was the subject of a 2010 feature documentary film, Jimmy Murakami - Non Alien, made by Irish director Sé Merry Doyle and produced by Martina Durac and Vanessa Gildea of Loopline Films.

Jimmy Murakami - Non Alien was premiered in Dublin at the 2010 IFI Stranger than Fiction Film Festival.

Paying tribute, Cathal Gaffney, CEO of Irish animation company Brown Bag Films, said Murakami was "a founding father of Irish animation" and a "huge inspiration to so many".