Legendary balladeer Jim McCann has died at the age of 70.

The singer -  whose biggest solo hit was Grace - had been seriously ill with throat cancer. Jim McCann was a member of The Dubliners between 1974 to 1979, before he embarked on a successful solo career. His album From Tara to Here attained gold status for Irish sales. He returned to The Dubliners for their 2002 reunion tour, but he had been seriously ill with throat cancer in recent years.

McCann attended University College Dublin as a student of medicine, but Irish folk songs became his chief passion very early. He began to perform in folk clubs while on a summer holiday in Birmingham. The singer joined a group called the Ludlow Trio in 1965 on return to Dublin.

In 1966, The Ludlow Trio – or The Ludlows, as they were commonly known  -  had a massive hit with their recording of Dominic Behan’s The Sea Around Us. Released at the height of the so-called “ballad boom”,  the song reached number one in the Irish charts.

A member of The Dubliners from 1974 to 1979, he returned to the group for their 2002 re-union tour, but became ill with throat cancer shortly afterwards. He also performed alongside the late Luke Kelly in Jesus Christ Superstar at Dublin's Gaiety Theatre.