Deasún Breathnach, the writer, has died in Dublin. He was 85 years old.

A former journalist with the Irish Independent, where he was a sub-editor, he used the pseudonym 'Rex McGall' for his work in English there.

Mr Breathnach was a prolific writer in Irish, producing poetry, non-fiction and translations.

He was a lifelong republican.

He was editor of the Sinn Féin weekly newspaper An Phoblacht for two spells, first in 1973-4 as stand-in for Éamon Mac Thomáis, who had been jailed, and then in 1977-79 when he succeeded Gerry O'Hare.

Deasún Breathnach's wife, Lucy, predeceased him recently.