Some sad news this morning as it has been announced that Brendan Grace has died at the age of 68.

One of the best-known Irish comedians ever, Grace had recently announced the cancellation of several tour dates due to a lung cancer diagnosis.

He had been receiving treatment in hospital for pneumonia when the more serious illness was discovered.

His family said that he died peacefully and was grateful for the outpouring of support from fans since the announcement of his illness.

Best known to a certain generation as Fr. Fintan Stack from 'Father Ted', Grace's career spanned 40 years. His character Bottler was a fan favourite, while his song 'Combine Harvester', which was a hit in Ireland in 1975, went on to be covered by The Wurzels in 1976.

He leaves behind his wife Eileen and four children.

A book of condolence has been opened to the public at Dublin's Mansion House today from 12 - 5pm and tomorrow from 10am - 5pm.

Tributes have been pouring in from fans and other well-known names, including Brendan O'Carroll.