'He was a lovely fella' - tributes paid after hunter shot dead as gun fires accidentally
A hunting enthusiast died after a suspected accidental shooting involving a pump-action shotgun.
The man, named locally as Diarmuid Byrne (41), died instantly when he was struck in the upper chest by the shotgun discharge at his home on Plunkett Road, Ballyphehane in Cork.
The incident occurred shortly after 4.30pm when Mr Byrne was apparently inspecting the weapon with a friend.
It is understood the duo were examining the weapon in preparation for a planned hunting trip.
His shocked friend immediately raised the alarm. Despite paramedics being at the scene within minutes, Mr Byrne was pronounced dead before he could be transferred to Cork University Hospital (CUH).
Gardaí from Togher immediately sealed off the scene to allow for a full forensic and technical examination.
The man who raised the alarm was last night assisting detectives with their inquiries.
Gardaí said they are treating the incident as suspicious in accordance with routine procedures involving all deaths with firearms.
However, a garda source said the primary theory being examined is that Mr Byrne's death was a tragic accident.
Neighbours described him as a very friendly man who was devoted to his dog and to hunting. "He was a lovely fella," one local said.