GAA star dies on night out
A family was in mourning last night after a young sportsman -- a former goalkeeper for the Wicklow Senior Football team -- died of a suspected heart attack.
Visitors yesterday paid their respects at the home of young GAA star Raymond Daniels (28) in Blessington.
As the Wicklow football and hurling teams held a minute's silence at their fixtures yesterday, Raymond's brother , Jonathan, said the family were in complete shock.
His family said he was dedicated to his two loves -- sport and his two-year-old son, Ben.
In October, Raymond was admitted to hospital after being struck down with an infection which caused a kidney to fail.
"He was receiving dialysis all over Christmas. He got the all clear last Tuesday, and he went out on Saturday night with a few friends, and we think he had a heart attack," his brother said.
Mr Daniels, who worked as a fitter, is believed to have suffered a seizure as a group travelled by taxi from their home town of Blessington to nearby Naas on Saturday night.
He was rushed to Naas Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
His brother, Jonathan, was at home when he received a phone call around midnight.
"We thought we were going down last night to bring him home. I just couldn't believe it," he said.
His family said the hospital had been uncertain as to the source of the infection responsible for his kidney failure.
Now they are sadly awaiting today's autopsy results to find out the possible cause of his suspected heart attack.
The young sportsman, who had been playing football alongside his brothers since he was just five-years-old, hailed from Carrig Glen, in Blessington.
As many members of the GAA community and former Wicklow footballers visited the family home, his brother said Raymond would have been looked up to by many young players in the area.
Raymond had been the county team's goalkeeper on several seasons throughout the past eight years.
However, last year, a groin injury sidelined him for much of the 2007 season but he planned to resume training.
Playing for the senior side left little time for anything else, his brother said. "He wasn't a big drinker," he added.
His family, including his parents, Teresa and Brendan, his other brother, Shane, his girlfriend, Linda Carroll, and son , Ben, were being comforted by relatives and visitors.
Former GAA President Jack Boothman, who is current President of Blessington GAA, said he was a "gifted footballer and goalkeeper".
Former Wicklow manager, Hugh Kenny, said he was a major loss to his county. "The best respects I could pay to him is he was in goal through all age groups up along," he said.