Tributes have been paid to the late Cork County Councillor Noel Collins, the longest-serving public representative in the State, who died yesterday.

A native of Lusk in Co Dublin, Mr Collins was first elected to Midleton Town Council in 1967.

Such was the regard he was held in locally, the independent councillor took his seat on the first count in the 2019 local elections.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he was saddened to learn of the passing of Noel Collins, who "in almost 55 years of dedicated and unbroken public service truly earned the title 'Father of Cork County Council'".

The Taoiseach said Mr Collins never tired from fighting for the most vulnerable in his community.

"I regarded Noel as a friend, and always admired his great commitment to helping the less well off," he said.

He said Mr Collins "will be solely missed by the people of Cork, and political colleagues across the divide".

The Mayor of Cork Cllr Gillian Coughlan also paid tribute to the late councillor on behalf of the local authority and fellow elected members.

"Having given 55 years of service to his community in Midleton and East Cork, I think it is worth highlighting how Noel didn't drive, didn't use a phone and had no compute," she said.

"But this never stopped him. Noel used a typewriter and written letter to communicate and he did so to great effect, winning the hearts and minds of those he met," she added.

She offered her deepest condolences and sympathies to his family, friends and to the people of East Cork "who he so passionately represented".