Monday 25 September 2017

Conor Whelan's touching tribute to cousin and former Galway star Niall Donohue

Joe Canning, Conor Whelan and Galway kit manager James 'Tex' Callaghan following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Joe Canning, Conor Whelan and Galway kit manager James 'Tex' Callaghan following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Galway corner-forward Conor Whelan paid tribute to his cousin and former Galway defender Niall Donohue following the Tribesmen's All-Ireland win on Sunday.

Donohue passed away in 2013 after he was found dead at his Kilbecanty home just two days before his 23rd birthday.

His passing preceded Whelan's introduction to the Galway side after the Kinvara hurler burst onto the intercounty scene as an 18-year-old in 2015.

While Whelan was able to fulfil his cousin's dream of winning an All-Ireland Senior Hurling title last weekend, he also made sure that he paid tribute to his cousin by bringing a flag onto the pitch with his face emblazoned across its base.

The picture of Whelan proudly holding the flag was accompanied by a message on his Instagram that read:

"There are three things to cry for in life: things that are lost, things that are found, and things that are magnificent."

Galway captain David Burke also paid tribute to Donohue during his victory speech on the steps of the Hogan Stand last weekend.

"One other person that I can’t let today pass without mentioning..he was soldiering with us for years, a good friend of mine and first cousin of Conor Whelan. He passed away in 2014, Niall Donoghue. We’ll never forget him.

"We will give a small shout out to Pieta House and people who do so much work with people with depression. Hopefull they help many."

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

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