Kerry actor, director and playwright Donal Courtney had died aged 52 following a short illness.

Mr Courtney is credited with introducing Michael Fassbender to acting and had recently established an acting school with the Hollywood star in Killarney.

Married with two children, Mr Courtney was the son of the late long-standing Killarney town councillor and tourism director Michael Courtney.

He appeared in numerous RTÉ productions, but is especially associated with his portrayal of Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty in his play 'God has no Country’.

The Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society said they heard of his passing with great sadness and shock.