Former Fine Gael TD Ted Nealon has died at the age of 84.

Mr Nealon was a TD for Sligo/Leitrim from 1981 until he retired in 1997. He was a junior minister on three separate occasions.

He was the founder and editor of Nealon's Guide to the Dáil and Seanad.

He also worked as a presenter with RTÉ before entering politics.

His family confirmed that he died this afternoon.

Mr Nealon played intercounty football for Co Sligo from 1953 to 1959, and played with three clubs in three different counties; Tourlestrane, Monaghan Harps and Dundalk Gaels.

In 2010, he recalled marking Galway's Frank Stockwell in the 1954 Connacht final and said: "It was the same old story for Sligo. We came from 11 points down at half-time and ended up getting beaten by a point after having a goal disallowed at the end."

Mr Nealon is probably the only TD to have played competitive rugby league.

He played for the Cadishead Rhinos when he lived in Manchester for a short period before he moved home to work as a journalist.

Former taoiseach John Bruton said Mr Nealon was also a "talented press spokesman for Fine Gael".

Mr Bruton said: "He was both good humoured and incisive, both generous and honest.

"He will be missed, especially in his native Sligo, which he loved so much."