Mark Sheehan, guitarist with Irish pop band the Script, has died after a brief illness.

Sheehan, who formed the band with frontman Danny O’Donoghue and drummer Glen Power in 2001, died in hospital.

In a statement on their social media pages, the band said: “Much loved husband, father, brother, bandmate and friend Mark Sheehan passed away today in hospital after a brief illness.

“The family and group ask fans to respect their privacy at this tragic time.”

Sheehan was married to Reena Sheehan, who he met while she was working as a session singer, and the couple had three children.

Last year, after Sheehan missed the US leg of the band’s tour, O’Donoghue told Sunday World that Sheehan had taken a break to spend time with his family. He added that the group were supportive of Sheehan’s decision and described them as a “a band of brothers” who “stick together no matter what”.

O’Donoghue and Sheehan both grew up in Dublin and had been best friends since the age of 12.

The Script’s self-titled debut album was released in 2008 and entered the UK album charts at No 1. Between 2010 and 2019, the band amassed more UK No 1 albums and singles than any other Irish act.

Mark was 46.