Tuesday 27 September 2016

GAA stars unite to help bring David Houlihan home following tragic drowning in Thailand

Published 09/07/2015 | 13:03

David Houlihan
David Houlihan

Some of Ireland's top GAA players are uniting together to help bring the body of David Houlihan home following the tragic drowning of the Waterford man in Thailand.

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Houlihan (24), from Dungarvan, went missing on Monday night in Thailand, where he had stopped on the way to visit friends in Australia for an extended holiday.

He vanished on the way to his hotel in Koh Samui.

Over €27k has been raised through the YouCaring fundraising page which was set up by the Houlihan family. The original goal for the page was to raise €1k but the support has been huge with inter-county players around the country among those backing the cause.

Tipperary's Lar Corbett and Paddy Stapleton, Tony Browne of Waterford and Galway's  Kieran Joyce are among those to pay their respects and promote the fundraising page on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Dungarvan GAA club have paid an emotional tribute to David.

Houlihan was a member of Dungarvan GAA club and only last Friday he played his final game for them, scoring a point against Ballinameela in the Western Intermediate football Championship.

David's death is the third family tragedy for the Houlihans following the passing of their mother mother Bernie in 2011 after a battle with cancer. Seven years earlier, their father John passed away following a heart attack.

Dungarvan GAA club spoke of David's popularity, sporting ability and the Houlihan family tradition within the club in an emotional tribute on their Facebook page.

"David was destined to play with Dungarvan, following in the footsteps of his grand uncle Tommy Houlihan, who won championship honours in the 1940s, his uncles Jim and Michael were on our County winning Junior football team in 1973 and his other uncle Martin was part of our Three in a Row County Senior football winning sides from 1990-92.

"David’s late father Johnny was juvenile club chairman and all his brothers have played with us.

"Houli was a true Blue, verified by the amount of photos in the club house he is included in from under age to adult level. His last game for the club was as recent as last Friday evening against Ballinameela in the Western Intermediate football Championship.

"He lined out at corner forward, made darting runs along the endline and scored a very well taken first half point."

Chairman Tony Ryan described David as a tremendous clubman who was well-liked around the community.

"He left on Sunday to go over to see some very good friends he has in Australia. He had a huge range of great friends from within our club, our rival clubs and everywhere," said Mr Ryan. "David was very well liked."

If you wish to donate to help bring David home, click here

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