Ger Withers passed away on Tuesday after being attacked by a stag

Ger Withers passed away on Tuesday after being attacked by a stag
A renowned huntsman died after being attacked and gored by a pet stag.

An investigation is now underway into the freak tragedy in north Cork which claimed the life of the married father of three.

The huntsman - named locally in Liscarroll as Gerard 'Ger' Withers (45) - suffered fatal injuries after he was apparently attacked by the pet stag on Tuesday afternoon.

The tragedy occurred at the Duhallow Hunt Kennels in north Cork where the stag had been raised and kept as a pet.

It is understood Mr Withers was tending to the adult animal when it suddenly attacked him.

He was gored and trampled by the heavy animal before he could escape to safety.

The alarm was raised when Mr Withers did not return home from the feeding area and friends became worried about him.

He was then found lying unresponsive on the ground at the yard.

The animal was lured away from Mr Withers and he was given emergency medical assistance.

Tragically, he was pronounced dead a short time later before he could be transferred to Cork University Hospital (CUH).

Garda穩 and paramedics attended the scene.

A Health and Safety Authority (HSA) investigation into the freak accident is now being conducted.

Mr Withers was a married father of three children, twins and a toddler.

He was widely respected as an expert huntsman and well known in the north Cork area.

Mr Withers was involved with a number of outdoor pursuits organisations and was a respected figure within hunting circles.

Tributes were paid to Mr Withers from locals and hunt groups across Ireland.

Friend Catherine Power said he was a wonderful man and a devoted father.

"He was a gorgeous man. A wonderful father and huntsman. He was a man who has left behind a very good legacy in the hunting fraternity. The whole country is in shock," she said.

"It happened out of the blue. You can't anticipate something like this happening. We are all devastated. We have lost a good man and a good huntsman."

Mr Withers hunted with the Old English Hounds and had strong links with hunts across Munster.

Duhallow Hunt Chairman Pat Fleming paid tribute to Mr Withers.

"He was a great husband and a professional man. He did a great job.

"You couldn't have had better than Ger. I spoke to him a few times a week and we would talk about his beloved kids," he said.

"We never had a cross word in twenty years. We are all devastated."

Locals said they were deeply shocked by the tragedy.

Stags can be extremely dangerous during the breeding or 'rutting' season which extends from September to December.

The large male animals get extremely aggressive as their testosterone levels spike because of competition for females.

Stags have been known to attack hunters and even vehicles.