A huntsman who died in a freak accident when he was attacked by a stag he had gone to feed in North Cork on Tuesday afternoon has been described as a "gorgeous man and a wonderful father."
Ger Withers (45) of Liscarroll in Co Cork went to the Duhallow Hunt Kennels to feed the stag as was part of his usual routine.
When he failed to return home his wife Maria raised the alarm. He was found unresponsive on the ground at the kennels.
Mr Wither is the father of twin girls who are aged seven and a three year old boy. His friend, Catherine Power, said he was a wonderful person who would be sorely missed by all those who knew him.
"He was a gorgeous man. A wonderful father and huntsman. He was a young man who has left behind a very good legacy in the hunting fraternity. The whole country is in shock.
It happened out of the blue. You can't anticipate something like this happening. We are devasted. We have lost a good man and a good huntsman."
Meanwhile, gardaí and paramedics attended the scene. A HSA probe in to the incident is underway which is being treated as a tragic accident. The body of the deceased was removed to the mortuary at Cork University Hospital.
The coroner has been notified and an inquest is likely to take place next year. The funeral arrangements for Mr Withers have as yet to be finalised.
Mr Withers was regarded as a expert huntsmen and houndman who hunted with Old English Hounds. He had hunted his pack of English hounds for 14 seasons.