Michael Dwyer

Minister for arts, sport and tourism Martin Cullen has led tributes to renowned Irish film critic Michael Dwyer, who died on Friday at the age of 58 following an illness.

"The film sector and the media have lost a passionate, dedicated enthusiast who for more than three decades has been the most singular, significant influence on cinema in Ireland," Cullen said.

Dwyer, the Irish Times film critic, and a former Sunday Tribune writer, founded the Federation of Irish Film Societies and co-founded the Dublin Film Festival and later the Dublin International Film Festival.

The French government appointed him a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2006, for his coverage of the Cannes film festival.