The Taoiseach has led tributes to the former Minister for Justice, Sean Doherty, who died this morning in Co Donegal at the age of 60.

Bertie Ahern described Mr Doherty as a colleague and a friend of nearly 30 years.

Former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds also paid tribute to his former Fianna Fáil colleague, and said it was a very sad day.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio's News At One, Mr Reynolds described Mr Doherty as a very colourful character, and a man of considerable political skill and brain power.

Mr Doherty had suffered a brain haemorrhage on Saturday night while on a weekend break in Co Donegal. His family were with him when he passed away.

His remains were removed from Letterkenny General Hospital this afternoon.

Mr Doherty became a TD for the Roscommon-Leitrim Constituency in 1977.

He was named Minister for Justice in 1982 in the Fianna Fáil Government led by Charles Haughey. But his time in the department was marred by controversy, most notably the tapping of journalists' phones.

Ten years later, Mr Doherty broke his silence on the issue on the Nighthawks television programme and Mr Haughey subsequently resigned.

In more recent years he also served as a member of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee and was praised for his chairing of the investigation into cost over-runs at Iarnród Éireann. He retired at the 2002 General Election.

Mr Doherty is survived by his wife Maura and four daughters, Rachael, Cara, Leah and Evelyn.