The well-known columnist and fashion journalist Terry Keane has died.  She was 68.

Ms Keane’s son-in-law Diarmuid Gavin confirmed this morning that she passed away in St Vincent’s Hospital after a long illness.

She is survived by her children Jane, Madeleine and Justine. Her son Tim died in 2004.

Terry Keane was born Ann Teresa O'Donnell of Irish parents, a doctor and a bank official, in Guildford, Surrey, in 1939.

She spent time in Ireland as a child during the war and returned to study medicine in Trinity College Dublin. She dropped out without taking a degree and later married a young barrister, Ronan Keane.

The couple separated in the 1990s, and Ronan Keane went on to become Chief Justice.

Terry Keane was the principal contributor of the Sunday Independent’s long-running gossip column, The Keane Edge.

In the column there were often hints of a relationship with a prominent political figure, named in the column as Sweetie, and her relationship was widely known in certain circles, though never openly confirmed.

However, in 1999 Terry Keane revealed on the RTÉ One programme, The Late Late Show, that the figure had been the former Taoiseach, Charles Haughey.

She also gave the story as an exclusive to rival newspaper The Sunday Times, although she was still employed by Independent News and Media, and abruptly left the Sunday Independent.

In later years, in an RTÉ documentary, Terry Keane said she regretted the pain that she had caused by speaking about her 27-year-long affair.