Legendary Irish sports journalist Con Houlihan has died at the age of 86 – and tributes have poured in for the great Kerryman.

A former columnist with the now defunct Evening Press newspaper, Houlihan filed for the Sunday World in the days before his death.

He had been ill for some time but continued his weekly column for the Dublin based newspaper.

Irish President Michael D Higgins has led the tributes to Houlihan whose writings on sport and the arts are the stuff of journalistic legend in Ireland.

President Higgins said: “I have just learned of the death of Con Houlihan. He was a most original writer, with a unique style based on his extensive knowledge of literature, politics, life and sport.

“As a sportswriter, who engaged us over the decades, he had that special quality and ability to identify with the passion, pain and celebration of Irish community life.

“I express my deepest sympathy, on behalf of Sabina and myself, to his family and friends.”

Ireland’s Minister for the Arts Jimmy Deenihan, a multiple All-Ireland football championship winner, also paid tribute to his fellow Kerryman.

Deenihan said: “Con Houlihan was a great sports writer who brought the game to life for his readers and was a towering figure for many decades.”

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin described Houlihan as: “One of Ireland’s most respected and talented sports writers.”

He added: “Con Houlihan was quite simply one of the greatest sporting writers and commentators the country has seen. His talent and contribution to sport over many years was enormous.”

The GAA will pay tribute to Houlihan with a minute’s silence before the Kerry-Donegal game at Croke Park on Sunday.

Sports journalism legend Con HoulihanGoogle Images