Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin has paid tribute to the academic and former RTÉ broadcaster Brian Farrell who has died aged 85.

Deputy Martin has described Mr. Farrell as one of the country’s most respected and authoritative political journalists.

Deputy Martin commented: “Brian Farrell revolutionised political coverage in Ireland in the television age.  Whether as a presenter for 7 Days, Today Tonight, or Prime Time or the nine general elections he covered from the 1970’s to the 1990’s, he was a central figure in our media for three decades.

“Of course, he was not just a distinguished broadcaster, Brian Farrell was an accomplished author and a noted academic who lectured for many years in University College Dublin.  This dual role made him a crucial figure in our public life and provided a very strong perspective in analysing public affairs.

“Brian Farrell was a key figure in development of Political Science as a discipline in Ireland and many political scientists and historians owe him a great debt of gratitude for his work in this area.

“On a personal level I have fond memories of being interviewed by Brian.  As a young second level student I was captivated by his presentation of current affairs which acted as a catalyst for attracting the interest of many young people to politics.

“I want to extend my deepest sympathies to Brian’s family, friends and colleagues in RTÉ.”

“Ar dheis De go raibh a Anam.”