Saturday 24 February 2018

Farewell to footballer who 'died playing beloved sport'

Murt Murphy

A DEVASTATED community came out in force to support the grieving family of one of its shining stars.

The villages of Camp and Annascual in west Kerry ground to a halt on Saturday for the funeral of Brendan 'Bawnie' O'Driscoll (28), who collapsed just one week earlier doing what he loved best -- playing football.

The young carpenter died at Cork University Hospital on Wednesday. He had been playing for his club Annascaul in the west Kerry championship quarter-final against neighbours Lispole when 10 minutes into the second half he collapsed.

More than 1,000 mourners stood in the rain, with another 300 packed into the small church, among them legendary GAA commentator Micheal O Muircheartaigh, and former and current Kerry players, Darragh, Tomas and Marc O Se.

Parish priest Fr John Buckley spoke about a devastated community struggling to understand why such "a young, vibrant and talented sportsman could be taken by God at such a young age without warning".

Brendan's uncle Tommy Doyle paid a moving tribute to his nephew:"Bawnie died at what he liked doing best and that was playing sport, but he has left a void that will be impossible to fill."

He is survived by parents Vincent and Mary, brothers, Jamie, Vincent, Chris, Micheal and sister Aisling.

Irish Independent

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