Tributes have been paid to barrister and legal commentator Paul Anthony McDermott, who has died after an illness aged 47.

Mr McDermott was a senior counsel and also a frequent commentator on legal issues on television, radio and in print.

He had a weekly column in the Sunday Times newspaper and was a regular guest on RTÉ radio and television programmes. 

He was also a lecturer at the Sutherland Law School at UCD.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said in a tweet that he was deeply saddened to hear of Mr McDermott's death.

He described him as a very talented barrister, a popular lecturer and an entertaining newspaper columnist who would be greatly missed. 

The Chairman of the Council of the Bar of Ireland, Mícheál P O'Higgins, said Mr McDermott was a skilled and knowledgeable advocate who represented his many clients with distinction.

He said Mr McDermott was a high level scholar and also a terrific advocate with an unrivalled ability to persuade.

Mr O'Higgins said he was also immensely generous in sharing his legal expertise, not only with colleagues seeking assistance but also through his lecturing in UCD and his media work. 

Director General of the Law Society of Ireland Ken Murphy said the LSI held him and his advice "in the highest regard. "He was one of the legal profession's great communicators," he said. 

The Office of the Press Ombudsman said he was a compassionate lawyer, but also a witty newspaper columnist and a wise commentator on radio and television.  

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties called him a brilliant lawyer, writer and teacher. 

RTÉ's Morning Ireland also paid tribute to him, saying he provided listeners with clear explanations of issues as diverse as bail laws, double jeopardy and tribunal confidentiality

Mr McDermott became a junior counsel in 1996 and a senior counsel four years ago. 

Fellow Senior Counsel, Rossa Fanning, called him "one of the outstanding legal practitioners of his generation" and said his career had been one of "extraordinary accomplishments".

Mr McDermott graduated first in his class with a BCL degree from UCD in 1994, before completing an LLM at the University of Cambridge and a PhD at the Law Faculty in UCD, where he continued to lecture up to his death.  

Mr Fanning described him as a "prodigiously talented" student debater who served two terms as record secretary of the UCD Law Society and amongst other achievements, was a winner of the Irish Times debate in 1996. 

Mr McDermott acted in many leading Constitutional law cases, particularly for the State.

He also acted for the DPP in the trial of Seán FitzPatrick in 2015. 

He published highly regarded texts on contract law and prison law when he was still in his 20s and was a prolific contributor to conferences and public debate on legal topics. 

He is survived by his wife Annick, his young sons, Harry and Andrew, his mother Margaret and his brother James, who is also a barrister.