The Irish Farmers' Association has paid tribute to its former president Padraig Walshe, who died suddenly.

The Laois man served as president of the organisation from 2006 to 2010, and had previously been president of Macra na Feirme.

After completing his term as IFA president, Mr Walshe became the first Irish person to lead the European farm organisation COPA, which represents 22 million farmers.

Since 2011, Mr Walshe was also Chairman of Farmer Business Developments, having previously been on the board from 2006 to 2010.

Current IFA President Tim Cullinan said the farming community is in shock at the news of Mr Walshe's sudden passing.

Mr Cullinan extended condolences on behalf of the farming community to Mr Walshe's family and friends.

He added that Mr Walshe served farmers with distinction throughout his career, having been a passionate advocate for the development of the farming sector and fearless in defending farmers.