President Michael D Higgins has led tributes to activist Fergus McCabe who he said was the "beating heart" of community campaigning.

Mr Higgins said that Mr McCabe, who died during the week, advanced the goals of countless initiatives, including the Inner City Organisations Network, the CityWide Drugs Crisis Campaign, Young People At Risk, the Ministerial Task Forces on Drugs and other national strategies to reduce the prevalence and impact of substance abuse.

"It is not only in inner-city Dublin, in which he was part of the beating heart of community campaigning, that news of the death of Fergus McCabe will have been heard with great sorrow; it will be in communities all over Ireland with whom he shared his knowledge and his deep commitment to addressing issues, in particular on drug dependency," said Mr Higgins in a statement.

"Those of us who knew him will remember his energy and passion for justice, in making the case for inclusion and equality."

The statement added that: "Fergus McCabe chose hope over cynicism, and dedicated his life to the pursuit of social justice and equality."

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald said Mr McCabe was a "working class hero" while Labour Party TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said Mr MCCabe was "a passionate, committed campaigner for all that was good and decent".