Mountaineering Ireland has paid tribute to two Irish climbers who died on Mont Blanc in France over the weekend. 

The bodies of 37-year-old Colm Ennis from Waterford and Peter Britton, 55, from south Tipperary were found yesterday at around 4pm.

Local mountain rescue, PGHM Chamonix, said the men died "instantly" during their descent.

It is understood they fell around 200 metres in the Dent du Geant area of the French Alps.

The two men were founding members of the Rathgormack Climbing Club, based in the Comeragh Mountains.

Mountaineering Ireland has said the men were "very experienced climbers, who contributed a great deal to the sport and encouraged many young people to get involved".

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it is providing consular assistance to the families of the two climbers through its embassy in Paris.

Mr Britton's family and friends released a statement this evening saying they are shocked and saddened by the accident.

They said: "Peter and Colm were firm friends and had many years experience as an Alpine climbing team, and their loss is an unspeakable tragedy."

Rescuers said the two climbers had been "very well equipped", but they fell when it appeared that their rope came undone as they were going up the 4,000m "Giant's Tooth".

Last week, two Finnish climbers, aged 25 and 40, were killed in the same range.