Former Donegal North East TD Harry Blaney has died at the age of 85.

Mr Blaney served one term as an Independent Fianna Fáil TD and retired in 2002, aged 74.

Harry Blaney's family was steeped in Donegal politics, his father Neal Blaney, served as a Fianna Fáil TD between 1927 and 1948 and was succeeded by his son Neil Blaney.

Neil Blaney built up the Independent Fianna Fáil party following his expulsion from Fianna Fáil after the Arms Crisis. He died in 1995.

Harry Blaney failed to win the by-election caused by the death of his brother, but succeeded in winning the seat in the 1997 general election.

Harry's son Niall Blaney also became a TD for the Donegal North East Constituency, leaving IFF for the Fianna Fail party in 2007.

He retired from politics for personal reasons in 2011.

He is survived by his wife Margaret, five daughters and two sons.

Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin paid tribute to Mr Blaney and said he “always had the best interests of Donegal and its people at heart”.

He said one of Mr Blaney’s proudest achievements was delivering the new bridge linking Rosguill and Fanad peninsulas in Donegal North East.

Mr Martin extended his sympthies to Mr Blaney’s wife and children.

Tanáiste Eamon Gilmore said Mr Blaney had "worked hard as a public representative for the people of Donegal North East and continued a strong family tradition of public service".