Irish businessman and showbiz impresario Ronan O'Rahilly, who founded Radio Caroline in 1964, has died at the age of 79.

The grandson of 1916 veteran The O’Rahilly, he also managed James Bond star George Lazenby and was a mover and shaker on the London club scene in the 1960s, and also managed artists such as Georgie Game and Alex Korner. 

His death was announced on Monday by Radio Caroline, which still broadcasts off the Essex coast. He had been living in Co. Louth and has been diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2013.

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O’Rahilly founded the offshore station after he encountered problems getting his artists airplay on the BBC and Radio Luxembourg. 

Unlike established stations like the BBC, Caroline played pop music all day. 

The station became a spawning ground for many well-known DJs, including Tony Blackburn, Simon Dee, Johnnie Walker and Dave Lee Travis, and challenged BBC radio's dominance in the 1960s..

Johnnie Walker tweeted: "Farewell to Radio Caroline founder Ronan O'Rahilly, The man who made the impossible possible and changed radio forever.

"Thanks Ronan for the incredible experience of being a Caroline deejay and to challenge the Government in 1967. You were an amazing man."