The singer and entertainer Joe Dolan has died at the Mater private hospital in Dublin.

The 68-year-old had been suffering ill health for some time.

He had been allowed home for Christmas but was taken ill last night and died just after 3pm this afternoon from a suspected brain haemorrhage.

Mr Dolan, from Mullingar in Westmeath, had enjoyed musical success in Ireland and around the world for over 40 years.

With his band the Drifters his first chart success came in Ireland with 'The Answer to Everything' in 1964 but he is best perhaps known for songs 'Good Looking Woman' and 'Make Me an Island'.

Mr Dolan, who was one of five children, was recently forced to cancel a number of Christmas concerts because of illness but he was at home in Foxrock in Dublin last night when he was taken ill.

Surrounded by his family he passed away after suffering a suspected brain haemorrhage just after 3pm.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern expressed his sadness at the news, saying it was only a couple of months since he had last met Joe Dolan.

He described him as a fantastic showman with a great stage presence and a distinctive singing voice.