Former Fine Gael TD Brendan McGahon, who represented Louth for almost 20 years, has died aged 80 following a short illness.

First elected to Dundalk Urban Council in 1979, he won a seat in the Dáil in November 1982 and represented the county until his retirement in 2002.

A maverick and outspoken TD, he was known to speak his mind on many issues including divorce, crime, single mothers and the drinks industry.

He was a vocal critic of the Provisional IRA throughout his time in politics. 

He was the only TD to oppose the referendum to abolish the death penalty and he opposed the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Mr McGahon also argued that those aged under 21 should not be able to drive or drink.

He did not contest the 2002 general election and retired from politics.

His son, Conor, was a councillor from 1991-99 and his brother, Johnny, lost his seat in the 2004 local elections, ending the McGahon family's 108 consecutive year representation on Dundalk Town Council and Louth County Council.

His nephew, John McGahon, was elected to Louth County Council at the 2014 local elections.