SHANE Whelan's local GAA club, where the young player devoted much of his life to, has paid tribute to him following his tragic death at the weekend.
The 19-year-old was crossing the old Dublin to Belfast road at Monasterboice, Co Louth, on Sunday evening when he was hit by the car.
In a statement released this evening, Naomh Mairtin GAA club paid tribute to the 'happy-go-lucky' character.
"Shane, or ‘Wheelo’ as he was better known as, will always be fondly remembered for his infectious smile, his bubbly, happy-go-lucky character, and his genuine love for life.
"A son to be proud of, a brother to look up to, and an absolute treasure to his extended family and countless friends, who were lucky enough to have had the pleasure of this true gentleman’s company."
The club also paid tribute to his positive and caring attitude, both on and off the pitch.
"Shane’s passion and dedication to Naomh Mairtin football club was unquestionable and unwavering. Wheelo was an amazing teammate to the boys, both on and off the pitch. He will be sorely missed by everyone here in Monasterboice.
"Cherish all of the wonderful memories you have of this remarkable young man, keep him alive in your heart and mind, and preserve the incredible legacy that he is leaving behind."
The accident on Sunday evening happened in the same spot where his grandfather died in a similar accident 22 years ago.
Shane's grandfather, Don McCullough, was killed in 1991, aged 51.
Shane had been at a family celebration in the Monasterboice Inn, where he also worked part-time, when he crossed the road to his grandmother's house at about 8.30pm.
He had been in fancy dress for an event in the pub, and he was on his way to the house to change his clothes when the fatal collision happened.
The incident occurred on a section of the R132 described as "very dangerous" by locals.
It is understood a priest, who was driving the car that struck Shane, had to be treated at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda for facial injuries and shock.
Locals said an uncle of Shane's had also died in a road accident when he was just two years old, after being struck by a milk lorry.
His devastated mother Bernie McCullough-Whelan, father John and younger brother Connor were said to be "in shock" last night.
His grandmother Marie McCullough, was also being comforted at the family home.
Gardai are investigating the fatal accident and are appealing for witnesses to contact Drogheda garda station on 041-9874200, the Garda Confid- ential Line 1800-666-111 or any garda station.
By Cormac McQuinn