Tuesday 20 February 2018

GAA star dies of suspected sudden adult death syndrome

Jason Morley: died overnight at his home
Jason Morley: died overnight at his home

Tom Shiel

ANOTHER talented Gaelic footballer has died from a suspected case of sudden adult death syndrome (SADS).

Jason Morley was found dead by his wife, Rebecca, in their home at Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, when she woke on Wednesday morning.

Mr Morley was 37 and worked for a local scaffolding firm.

It is thought that his unexpected death may be down to SADS, which is believed to be responsible for approximately two deaths a week in Ireland.

All-Ireland winning Tyrone footballer Cormac McAnallen was a healthy 24-year-old when he fell victim to the condition in his sleep in March 2004.

His death prompted an ongoing awareness campaign which has resulted in many sports players being screened for cardiac conditions and defibrillators installed at sports clubs.

Typically, SADS victims suffer unexpected heart problems while exercising.

Mr Morley's remains were removed to Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar where a post mortem was due to be carried out yesterday.

It is understood he had been complaining of a sore throat in the days before his death, but had been to a doctor and was taking medication for that complaint.

Over the past two decades, Mr Morley, a brother of former Mayo intercounty footballer Tony Morley, distinguished himself on local playing fields winning many honours with the Ballyhaunis GAA Club.

He was named club footballer of the year in 2000. Ballyhaunis club secretary Vincent Caulfield said yesterday Mr Morley had been the epitome of what every sportsman should be.

"He was brave, as strong as a horse, looked after himself well," Mr Caulfield said. "Off the field, Jason was a true gentleman and a great family man."

A message on the club's website yesterday read: "It is with great sadness and deep regret our club have learned of the sudden and untimely passing of our loyal, cherished player and friend, Jason Morley.

"(We) offer our sincere condolences to his wife Becky, son Conor, parents Josie and Tony, brothers Tony and David and extended family and wide circle of friends."

Mr Morley's removal will take place to his local Bekan Church tonight at 7pm.

Irish Independent

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