Tributes have been paid to political scientist and elections commentator on RTÉ, Professor Richard Sinnott, who has died.

The former UCD Professor of Politics died yesterday after a long illness. He was well known as a contributor to RTÉ on elections over decades.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin described Prof Sinnott as an "outstanding academic and researcher".

He added: "His pioneering work on elections and electoral systems made a lasting impact in the field of political science. My sympathies to his wife Margaret, children and family."

Ireland's Press Ombudsman said Prof Sinnott "was for many years the expert chosen by RTÉ to analyse election results.

"His commitment to objective and empirical analysis was remarkable. Condolences to his family."

His former colleague, Prof David Farrell of UCD, paid tribute to him on social media today, tweeting that "Richard will be remembered by many for his regular appearances as RTE's election pundit; indeed, he was a pioneer in introducing data-led, political science expertise to the airwaves".

Watch: Computerisation of Election Results 1982

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Prof Farrell added that "Richard was an outstanding researcher", and was recognised for this by his membership of the Royal Irish Academy.

"He led a number of major European-funded research projects collaborating with the top names in political science across Europe and the USA."

Prof Farrell added: "Perhaps his most notable UCD contribution was the establishment of the Centre for European Economic and Public Affairs (CEEPA), including the interdisciplinary Masters of Economic Science in European Economic and Public Affairs - a huge innovation at the time."

Richard Sinnott is survived by his wife Margaret, his children Gillian and Daniel and grandchildren, as well as extended family.

His funeral mass will take place at 10am on Saturday in Church of St Mary Star of the Sea, Sandymount, Dublin.