The former Fianna Fáil TD, Liam Lawlor, has been killed in a car crash in Moscow.

Mr Lawlor was a passenger in a car which hit a street lamp in Himki in northern Moscow.

The Mercedes car had been travelling from the city's main airport when the accident happened at around 1am local time.

The driver of the car, believed to be a local man, was also killed. 

A Ukrainian woman who was a back seat passenger was seriously injured and was taken to hospital.

The 61-year-old is survived by his wife Hazel, his three sons and a daughter.

Mr Lawlor served as a TD for Dublin West for over 25 years. First elected to the Dáil in 1977, he retired from active politics prior to the general election in 2002.

He will be chiefly remembered for his involvement in recent planning controversies.

The former TD for the Dublin Mid-West Consituency spent three short spells in prison for failure to co-operate with the Flood Tribunal.

In his youth he was a well known hurler and represented Dublin and Leinster.

Mr Lawlor's family said that they had officially learned of the death from the Irish Ambassador to Moscow this afternoon.

In a statement, the family said they were overwhelmed by the kind expressions of sympathy extended to them from at home and abroad.

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, has said that he was shocked to learn of the untimely death of Liam Lawlor, and has extended his sympathy to Mr Lawlor's wife and family.

He described Mr Lawlor as an engaging, witty and larger than life character. He added that he was a man with a keen intellect with strong views, which he was never afraid to articulate trenchantly.

The Progressive Democrats, Fine Gael and the Labour Party also expressed their sympathy to Mr Lawlor's family.