Flags on some State buildings in Ireland are being flown at half mast today, as a mark of respect, following the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

The gesture has been observed on only some State buildings due to the short notice given of the funeral.

Normally the flag is flown at half mast on the day of the deceased's funeral and in the Islamic rites a person should be buried before sundown on the day of their death - thus the short notice

A spokesman said as far as he was aware the flags on Government buildings, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Arás an Uachtaráin were being flown at half mast.

Following the death of 90-year-old King Abdullah, his 79-year-old half-brother, Crown Prince Salman, will be the next king of Saudi Arabia.

Crown Prince Salman has vowed to maintain same approach as his predecessors.

King Abdullah was treated in hospital for lung diseases at the end of 2014.

Based on his will, his health condition was published to the public.

King Abdullah took over power from King Fahd in August 2005.

During his ten years in power, he improved women's social status in Saudi Arabia by bringing women into the country's parliament and building a first university that provides mixed-gender education.

Although a reformer, he did not change the House of Saud's grip on power. Critics found themselves in prison or silenced.

King Abdullah was also considered a strong US ally and, following his death, US President Barack Obama praised him for taking "bold steps" to help with the Arab Peace Initiative.

Mr Obama said he "valued King Abdullah's perspective and appreciated our genuine and warm friendship".

Saudi King was a cautious reformer but problems remain

The King was born in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh in 1924, and became crown prince in 1982, before ascending to the throne in 2005.