A SCHOOL teacher who died suddenly from a brain haemorrhage has been described as an "inspirational young man" and a "fabulous" teacher.
Alan Feeley (28) collapsed on Monday evening, only a day after he had been playing football for Claremorris GAA club.
He was rushed to University Hospital Limerick where he died on Tuesday evening.
Originally from Claremorris in Mayo, Mr Feeley had been working as a PE teacher at Scoil na Trionoide Naofa in Doon, Co Limerick, for the past five years.
School principal Eilis Casey paid tribute to the popular teacher yesterday.
"He was without doubt an inspirational young man, hardworking, a fabulous teacher and excellent athlete and sportsman.
"As a teacher he was very innovative and PE was so enjoyable for the girls. He was very popular. There was an ease and calmness about him," she said.
Sports enthusiast Mr Feeley played with Claremorris GAA club and Old Crescent RFC in Limerick.
Craig Middleton, Claremorris GAA chairman, said Mr Feeley's parents Willie and Kathleen, and his brothers Liam, Hugh and Donal are devastated by his sudden death.
"It is just a shocking, shocking tragedy. They are inconsolable. Alan was an absolute gentleman. He had a huge commitment to his club and his teammates. I was watching him playing football for our senior team on Sunday, not much more than 24 hours later he was no longer here. The whole community is devastated. His teammates are in bits."
Old Crescent RFC in Limerick have postponed this weekend's senior fixtures as a mark of respect.
Doon parish priest Fr Tony Ryan said the community is in mourning. "He was tremendously popular. Everybody is shocked with the news."
Mr Feeley's funeral mass will be held at St Colman's Church, Claremorris, tomorrow at 2.30pm.
By Fiona Ellis