Alison Miller and Pat Miller at the official opening of the Midlands Park Hotel.
The Downtown Portlaoise business group has paid tribute to the late Pat Miller as the backbone of the town's business community for more than four decades.
Matthew Kennelly is Chairman of the group which represents traders in Portlaoise of which Pat was an active member.
"We are all very saddened at Downtown Portlaoise by the news of the death of Pat Miller this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very sad time," he said.
Mr Kennelly said the businessman, who died on Wednesday after a short illness and ran Miller's Hardware for many years, has been missed.
"We have all been missing Pat from the town for the past few months and now to hear this tragic turn of events, is very upsetting.
"He has been the backbone of the business community here in Portlaoise town centre for over 40 years and was a respected businessman within our whole community.
"He always gave generously of his time and money to whatever was asked of him, to the betterment of our town.
"He will be sadly missed," concluded Mr Kennelly.
Ger Mulhall of Mulhall's SuperValu and Downtown Portlaoise also paid tribute.
"Pat will be sadly missed in the town and missed amongst his fellow traders. Pat always bore a smile be it hail, rain or sunshine. A pure gentleman. My thoughts are with Patsy and family," he said.