TRIBUTES have been paid to a doting grandfather who was killed in a car crash near Midleton this morning.
PJ Byrne lost his life when his car was involved in a collision with an oil truck on the Midleton to Whitegate Road.
Mr Byrne, who was in his 50s, was on his way to work as a caretaker at Cork College of Commerce at Morrison's Island.
Principal Helen Ryan said staff at the college are “shellshocked” by the news.
The college released a statement and picture of Mr Byrne with one of his grandsons: “PJ was part of our family here and we took this pic of him with his darling grandson in happier times as he was so proud of his children and grandchildren. We are heartbroken for them all.”
Comments on the college’s Facebook page described Mr Byrne as a “gentleman” and “kind".
Mallow College of Further Education, many of whose staff worked with Mr Byrne, also expressed their sadness.
"Many of us here too have had the joy of knowing and working with PJ in the past and share in the awful shock and sadness today. A gorgeous man and with a sense of humour that would keep you going on even the hardest days."
His niece Jessica Culligan shared her grief in a Facebook post.
"PJ is a[n] absolute legend & everyone who ever crossed paths with him would have known this. Absolutely heartbreaking", she said.
A statement released by Gardaí said Mr Byrne was pronounced dead upon arrival of the emergency services.
The body was removed to Cork University Hospital where a post mortem was expected to take place.
Forensic Collision Investigators were called to the scene. The road remained closed for a period with local diversions in place but reopened in the early afternoon.
Munster Fire Control said they were alerted to the incident shortly after 7am.
“We received a call at 7:01 am for Marsh Road Whitegate, between Whitegate and Midleton for a road traffic collision between a car and an oil truck".