The death has taken place of the director and former chief executive of the Digicel Group, Colm Delves.

Mr Delves led the Denis O'Brien controlled telecoms company for 13 years before stepping down three years ago.

A year later he was diagnosed with cancer and lost his struggle with the disease yesterday.

The news was relayed to staff in an internal memo from Mr O’Brien, who said he was passing it on with "extreme sadness".

"Colm was an extraordinary person; one of the very best," Mr O’Brien wrote.

"In his 13 years at the helm of Digicel, and despite the many, many successes achieved under his stewardship, his unique management style meant he always remained humble."

"That humility, along with his kind, calm, low key demeanour – and not forgetting his wry sense of humour - made him beloved among our staff and indeed, anyone and everyone who had dealings with him."

A chartered accountant, Mr Delves had worked as finance director for Hibernia Foods from 1992 until 2003.

Before that he had worked for KPMG.

Mr O’Brien said that as well as being a great leader, Mr Delves was kind and compassionate and had been adopted by Jamaica.

"He stood front and centre as a leader and always supported his team," he said.

Mr Delves is survived by his wife Paula, daughter Hannah and parents Rosemary and John.