Former Fine Gael TD and minister Austin Deasy from Waterford has died.

Mr Deasy was a TD for his native county from 1977 to 2002.

He was appointed minister for agriculture in 1982.

His son, John Deasy, succeeded him into politics.

Austin Deasy died in Waterford Regional Hospital after a short illness.

New Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar has expressed his condolences to the Deasy family following the news.

Mr Varadkar said Mr Deasy was "well loved and respected by the people of Waterford whom he was proud to represent". 

Former taoiseach John Bruton also paid tribute to a "courageous politician", adding that he "will be greatly missed".