FORMER colleagues of a GAA player-turned-model and reality TV star have expressed shock at his sudden death.
Diarmaid Maher, (29) of Páirc an Bhóthair, Rinn Ua gCuanach, in Waterford city, died in tragic circumstances on Wednesday night.
He was a well known male model for the Assets Modeling Agency and a regular feature on RTE’s reality show “Fade Street” as well as “Dining in the Dark”, “Celebrity Salon” and “Dublin Wives”.
He also wrote a monthly “agony uncle” column for “Stellar” magazine.
News of Mr Maher’s sudden death has been greeted with shock and sadness by his former colleagues.
John Norton, producer “Fade Street” said he couldn’t believe the news and even rang Mr Maher’s mobile out of disbelief.
“I’m in absolute shock,” he told the Irish Independent. “He was such an outgoing, lovely guy.”
Susan Vasquez, editor of “Stellar Magazine” was equally stunned by his death.
Mr Maher was voted the “second hottest bachelor in Ireland” in a competition by the magazine and was later hired to write a monthly advice column, she said.
“We were so charmed by him that we hired him to write a column,” she said.
“He was articulate, charming and intelligent.”
His swarthy good looks and athletic physique also earned him a job as a sought-after model.
But before he turned his sights to the world of fashion, he was a talented GAA player with the Fulham Irish GAA club in London when he was working there as a management consultant, said the club’s founder John Doyle.
“We set up the club in 2006 and Diarmaid was one of the first to join us. He was a talented athlete. He had done really well,” he told the Irish Independent.
He lived in London for four years after getting a first class honours degree in business information systems at University College Cork and joined the graduate programme at Deloitte.
“Diarmaid joined Fulham Irish GAA in 2006, making the No 9 shirt his own on the march to Intermediate Championship honours in our first year. He continued to play for the club in subsequent years until he moved back to Ireland in 2010 to pursue a different career,” the club said in a statement.
“Diarmaid was an incredible athlete, none more so demonstrated than in the GOAL 5km run at Battersea Park in 2007, when Diarmaid finished third overall, beating some fine elite athletes in the process. All his club friends will remember the big smile always on his face.”
He will be removed from the Kiely Funeral Home in Dungarvan, Co Waterford at 7:30pm on Saturday to Ring Church followed by Requiem Mass at 11:30am on Sunday.