FRIENDS and club mates flooded social media sites with messages of condolences on the tragic death of hurler Niall Donohue.
They expressed their sense of shock and sorrow after the death of the 22-year-old was confirmed.
One heartbreaking tribute, posted on the ‘Kilbecanty Old and New’ community facebook page, had been shared almost 1,000 times late last night and been liked by some 12,000 people.
The post, which is not credited to any author, pays tribute to Niall’s unquestionable hurling abilities and his many achievements and describes the 22-year-old as “our Shining Light” and “the best of his generation”.
“As we wake this morning we hoped that it was just a bad dream, a nightmare, that it isn’t true, it couldn’t be true. There is a cloud over Kilbeacanty, the sun came up but it did not take away the darkness,” the piece begins.
“It’s totally calm even the dogs aren’t barking; it’s as if they know. It’s like Kilbeacanty, Galway, the whole of Ireland, Australia and beyond is covered in a blanked of sorrowful, painful, raw, emotion.
“It’s so hard to believe Our Star, Our Hero, Our Idol, has been taken from us in his prime.”
In addition to his prowess on the field, the 700 word piece also remarks on his charming personality and popularity, both in the town of Kilbeacanty and throughout Galway.
“Niall was a friend to so many, a man of few words but even people that did not know him liked him. You can feel the genuine sadness felt by people in all the comments made everywhere last night and today.
It concludes: “There is a dark cloud over Kilbeacanty now and it will be there for a long time.”
Meanwhile Galway have decided to postpone their senior hurling final between Portumna and Loughrea, originally scheduled for Sunday, until Bank Holiday Monday afternoon as a mark of respect for Niall.
A meeting of the Competition Controls Committee made the decision last night.
If you have been affected by the tragic death of Niall Donoghue, there are a number of services and helplines available to you:
Console – National Helpline 1800 201 890
1 Life Suicide Helpline – 1800 247 100
Samaritans - 1850 60 90 90