President Mary McAleese has paid tribute to the acclaimed folk musician and singer Tommy Makem who has died at his home in Dover, New Hampshire in the US.

President McAleese said Mr Makem had brought happiness and joy to hundreds of thousands of fans the world over.

She added that he was always the consummate musician, and described him a superb ambassador for Ireland, and one of whom the country would always be proud.

Tommy Makem has died, aged 74Tommy Makem was aged 74 and had been suffering from lung cancer.

A musician, artist, poet and storyteller, he was best known as a member of The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem.

He was born and raised in Keady in Co Armagh. After moving to the US in the 1950s, he teamed up with the Clancy Brothers who were signed to Columbia Records.

He left the group in 1969 to pursue a solo career but later joined Liam Clancy to become Makem and Clancy. He went solo again in 1988.

Tommy Makem was best known for songs such as The Green Fields of France, Gentle Annie and Red is the Rose.