By David Raleigh
Friends of Michal Rejmer, who was murdered at his home in Limerick, described him as "a gorgeous man" who "lived for athletics".
The 38-year old McDonalds worker was a popular member of the Dooneen Athletics Club in Limerick, where he had lived for the past ten years.
According to his nearest and dearest the dedicated runner had experienced "a lot of bad luck" in his life, but his athletics gave him the lift to cope with whatever life seemed to throw at him.
"His mother died in a car crash about ten years ago. His dad died too when he was very small," said friend, Adam Duchnicz, a member of the Carrigtwohill Athletics Club in Cork.
Mr Duchnicz described hearing about the death of Mr Rejmer as "horrible".
"He had been unlucky in life, but he was always very optimistic. He was a very positive man," he said.
"He was a gorgeous man, very quiet, and very polite."
"He lived for his sport and his marathons. He was a real sportsman."
He said: "We ran many marathons together and we would meet up and travel to Dublin together for the Dublin marathon every year since 2009."
Mr Rejmer also lost his best friend, his beloved pet dog, who died last year.
"He brought the dog over from Poland to live with him in Ireland. He loved dogs," his neighbour Agnieszka Kanios, said.
Tony Fitzgerald, senior chairman of Dooneen Athletics Club, where Mr Rejmer was a much-loved member, described his death as "deeply shocking".
Paying tribute, Mr Fitzgerald said: "Michal was a loyal and dedicated member of Dooneen AC. He was always proud to wear the club's colours at County and National level, across road; cross country; and track events."
"He was a beautiful man."
"He was always jolly and he would always greet you with a smile and ask how your family was," Mr Fitzgerald added.
On the Dooneen AC Facebook page, a warm tribute described Mr Rejmer as "irreplaceable".
It read: "Michal had a beautiful nature about him, and fellow runners instantly warmed to that infectious smile. He would always greet you with a handshake – never just a wave across the track. He would make sure to go out of his way to greet you and shake hands."
Mr Rejmer, who was an only child, finished third in the 2013 Dingle Marathon, fifth in the 2012 Great Limerick Run, and was part of the Dooneen intermediate team that won gold at the 2014 Limerick County cross country finals.