Brendan Grace's daughter Melanie Gillespie has paid tribute to her late father on RTÉ Radio 1's Liveline, saying he had "the kindest, kindest heart". 

Tributes have poured in for the much-loved entertainer since his death was announced on Thursday morning, with Melanie Gillespie telling Liveline guest presenter Katie Hannon that it was "extraordinary being his daughter". 

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"He had the kindest, kindest heart," she continued. "He had heart enough both for his family and a nation and we're just so proud of that. We were happy to share him."

"Offstage, although he absolutely made us laugh often, he was a different person and I loved that we got that person," Melanie Gillespie continued. "Everyone else got the entertainer, we got a more vulnerable version of that.

"It was the comfort my mam gave him that made his passing so gentle. 

"He promised that he would never leave us and we believe that to be true." 

Brendan Grace pictured in 1981

Brendan Grace died at the age of 68 following a short illness.

President Michael D Higgins said Brendan Grace's sense of humour was a "profound contribution" to the "deep wellspring of Irish wit".

In a statement, President Higgins said he had learned with great sadness of the death of Brendan Grace.

He said that as a comedian Grace's "spontaneous wit and his sense of timing, his obvious delighting in interaction with his audiences, meant that Brendan's sense of humour was drawing from, and itself a profound contribution to, the deep wellspring of Irish wit".

President Higgins said Grace's best-loved characters will endure "precisely because they are both recognisable and representative of the experiences lived and recalled by Irish people of all ages".

Speaking on RTÉ News: Six One, Grace's lifelong friend Adele King aka Twink said he would be remembered as "one of the finest stand-up comedians - a decent all-round good egg - that we've ever had".

"A lovely dad, devoted father, devoted grandfather - he's all the elements of a wonderful human being," she continued.

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King said what she "would remember Bren more for is offstage". 

"The fact that we've been bestie buddies," she added. "I'm a better person for having him in my life." 

Also fighting back tears, fellow comedian Brendan O'Carroll said it was "very hard to think about Brendan without smiling". 

"If you walked down the street beside Brendan and people walked towards him, as soon as they saw his face they'd go 'Hey!' and smile. That's what he did." 

A showbusiness veteran for 50 years, Grace began his career in music before turning to comedy.

Irish band The Wolfe Tones said Grace was "a lovely person, unrivalled comedian, superb singer and guitarist" and sent their condolences to his family.

Comedian Jason Byrne said Grace was a "funny genius of a man".

Presenter and stand-up Dara Ó Briain saluted "a comedy legend".

Broadcaster Marty Whelan said that he was "a unique man and a good friend".

Journalist Roisin Ingle said Grace was "an iconic Dubliner" who was "a part of many of our childhoods".

Dustin the Turkey also paid tribute to the much-loved comedian.

A fan thanked Grace for "making me and my family laugh endlessly".

Another person tweeted: "You filled the world with laughter which we will be forever grateful for."

Take a look at some tributes to the late comedy great below:

Grace is survived by his wife Eileen, children and grandchildren.