Sam Maguire placed on coffin of 'gentle giant' Ciaran Carr
THE Sam Maguire was placed yesterday at the head of a coffin of a young man whose life was defined by his family, the GAA and his community.
Mourners gathered to mark the death of Ciaran Carr, who died last week from suspected Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) at the age of 20.
The Church of the Immaculate Conception in Clondalkin, Dublin, was packed to capacity as the talented young footballer was remembered.
Ciaran collapsed and died, despite the best efforts of emergency services, following a training session with his local Round Towers team last Friday.
"To everyone who was (at training) last Friday night, we know that everything humanly possible was done," said his father Philip of his only son.
"I was there myself and I applaud you for all your efforts, and Dublin Fire Brigade who arrived. You simply could not have done anything else and from both of us, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you."
His mother Gemma said: "Our gentle giant lies in front of us. He has just been an inspiration to us all our lives . . . even if he was a rogue at times.
"By the time he was three he could kick a ball out of his hands. We knew that he would do something in sport all his life because it was just his passion."
The Round Towers club, whose members lined the streets of Clondalkin in a guard of honour, have retired his number 12 jersey and replaced it with 16.
Alongside the Sam Maguire, a hurl, a football and a school jersey showed how sport had been at the centre of his life.
GAA president Christy Cooney, who was among the mourners, had earlier paid tribute to Ciaran, saying he had represented his community and his family well.
Fr Damian Farron, who celebrated the Mass, said that his friends and family had gathered in shock and grief but also in thanks for a life that was lived to the full.
"I know that as recently as last week Ciaran and his family were making a list of invitations for his 21st birthday, which would be two months from tomorrow," he said.
He was buried at Newlands Cross Cemetery and donations were requested for the Cardiac Risk in the Young charity.