President Michael D Higgins has paid tribute to travel writer Dervla Murphy, who has died aged 90.

Ms Murphy was a prolific writer, who published more than 25 books.

In a statement, the President said that people throughout Ireland, in her community of Lismore and far beyond to the many places in which she travelled will have been saddened to hear of her death.

"While known as Ireland's most famous travel writer, such a description barely captures the fullness and deep understanding captured in her work," he said.

"Her contribution to writing, and to travel writing in particular, had a unique commitment to the value of human experience in all its diversity."

President Higgins said that from her 1965 book 'Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle’ – which documented her journey on her bike through Europe, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India – to her many works detailing her experiences in vastly varied locations, she was always an "ethical visitor" and brought a "vital social conscience and respect for those she wrote about".

"She retained a strong interest in those who were suffering throughout the world even up to recent weeks and brought an insightful perspective to matters of politics, environmentalism and the crucial importance of peace," he added.

She is survived by her daughter Rachel and grandchildren.