Tuesday 17 January 2017

'His family have been through torture' - Friends gather to remember teen who died tragically following swimming accident in Germany

Jack McHugh (16) had just completed his Junior Cert and was a keen sports player and fan

Published 27/07/2016 | 10:29

Jack McHugh (16) from Corofin in Co Galway was left critically ill following a swimming accident in Munich last Monday.
Jack McHugh (16) from Corofin in Co Galway was left critically ill following a swimming accident in Munich last Monday.

Friends of a Galway teen who died tragically following a swimming accident in Germany will gather to remember their friend today.

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Jack McHugh (16) from Corofin in Co Galway was left critically ill following a swimming accident in Munich last Monday.

He passed away yesterday after a week in hospital.

The teenager had attended St Jarlath's College where he had just completed his Junior Cert. He was a keen footballer and hurler and had played at all levels underage up to current Under 16 grade with Corofin GAA Club.

Jack McHugh (16) from Corofin in Co Galway was left critically ill following a swimming accident in Munich
Jack McHugh (16) from Corofin in Co Galway was left critically ill following a swimming accident in Munich

A statement St Jarlath's school read: "It is with great sadness and regret that we have learned  of the passing of our 3rd year student Jack McHugh, RIP, from Corofin. As a school community we are deeply upset at this tragic loss of Jack and our thoughts and prayers are with Jack, his family and friends."

It advised parents and students that the school would open today to allow Jack's classmates, friends and all students to gather together to remember him.

A counsellor will also be on hand to assist the students.

"May Jack’s gentle soul Rest In Peace," it added.

The teenager had only arrived in the Bavarian city that day along with two friends. He had been due to spend a few weeks with his uncle.

Sadly, within hours of arrival the young hurler was left fighting for his life after he was swept away from his friends during a ballgame while swimming.

He was recovered from the water quickly and rushed to hospital where he was kept in an induced coma for the past week.

His parents Declan and Mary rushed to his bedside and doctors were initially hopeful that Jack would recover.

However, as they attempted to wake him from an induced coma earlier this week it became apparent that his organs had suffered irreparable damage.

His life support was switched off yesterday.

"The entire community is just devastated by this loss. Jack was such a talent in football and hurling and a lovely young lad," said family friend Cllr Peter Roche.

"A mass was said for his recovery last week and there was hope that he would survive but sadly his organs had started to shut down and there was nothing that could be done.

"His family have been through torture for the past week.

"It beggars belief. You think when you let your children go out in the world for the summer they will come back with a life of experience, you never think such a calamity could occur," he added.

The popular young teen is survived by his parents Declan and Mary McHugh and two younger sisters.

A post mortem examination is to be carried out in the coming days and the family are making arrangements to have his remains brought home.

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