Kerry football star dies after fall from car in Guatemala
Tributes have been paid to Kerry footballer Patrick Curtin who died after sustaining head injuries in a car accident in Central America.
Patrick (26), from the village of Moyvane, is understood to have fallen from a moving vehicle in Guatemala last Friday.
Local sources say he was a passenger in a car but somehow fell from it in a tragic accident. As the area was so remote, it was some time before an ambulance could reach him.
After the accident, Patrick was in a coma in a local hospital but was then airlifted to Miami in the US for more specialised treatment. His family flew to Miami where they kept a vigil at his hospital bedside as he remained in a coma.
Sadly, his injuries proved too grave and he passed away yesterday morning. The tragic news was announced by Kerry GAA in a statement released on their website.
Patrick had been working in Guatemala with the Liebherr Container Crane company, who have a factory in Killarney.
He had been in Guatemala with a team from the company since September.
He represented Kerry at every level and was a member of the Gaelic Players Association during his period with the county senior team in 2012 and 2013.
He played at minor level in 2006 and 2007 before moving on to Under 21 in 2009.
He made his senior debut against Dublin in 2012. In all, he made six Championship and 10 League appearances for the Kingdom.
His father John works with Kerry County Council and he is also survived by his mother Eileen and two sisters.
Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan said that Mr Curtin would be a huge loss to his community.
"I know his family very well and I coached a team that he played in," said the minister.
"He was an excellent footballer," he added.
The minister said that Mr Curtin's death was a terrible tragedy.
"Patrick was a skilled crafts person and a very professional and valued employee at Liebherr, so he will be hugely missed by all of us."
RTÉ broadcaster Des Cahill added: "Shocked to hear of the passing of young Kerry footballer Patrick Curtin. Sincere sympathy to his family and to all in Moyvane."
The Gaelic Players Association also extended its condolences to the family, friends and teammates of the young full-forward.
GPA chief executive Dessie Farrell said: "On behalf of the county playing body, I would like offer our sincere sympathies to the Curtin family, to Kerry GAA, the Moyvane club and to everyone associated with Patrick whose tragic loss has come as a terrible shock."