Thursday 14 December 2017

'He had everything going for him' - Tributes paid to talented footballer (16) who died at house

Olivia Kelleher

Tributes have been paid to a popular 16-year-old boy who died at a house in Cork city.

Michael Cornacchia was discovered in an unresponsive state in a bedroom at his home in the Deerpark estate, Friars Walk, on the southside of Cork city.

The shocking discovery was made by his mother shortly after 10am yesterday.

Medical personnel were called but despite their best efforts the teenager was pronounced dead at the scene.

A talented footballer, Michael played for his local club Kilreen Celtic.

Chairman of the club Donal Kelleher described him as a “quiet” and “popular” teenager.

Michael Cornacchia who died in Cork Photo: Provision
Michael Cornacchia who died in Cork Photo: Provision

“He was with us for a good few years and was playing with the U16s recently. He was a good player, he played centre-half for us,” Mr Kelleher told the Irish Independent.

“He would have got on well with all the lads, he was a popular guy. He used to have long, dark hair down to his shoulders so everyone would have known him. He was a good young fella who was quiet. It’s very hard for everyone at the club to take.”

Gardaí have spoken to friends of the tragic teenager and believe he had been out socialising on Sunday night.

A toxicology report will determine the exact cause of Michael’s death.

However, it may take several weeks to complete.

“It can take at least five weeks for the results of a toxicology report to come back to establish what has caused the death, but gardaí have spoken with his friends and are satisfied with the timeline in the hours leading up to the discovery of Michael’s body,” a senior source said.

A post-mortem examination was expected to take place at Cork University Hospital last night.

Residents in the Deerpark estate expressed their shock at the death, with one local woman describing Michael as a “very pleasant” teenager.

“I have two children of my own so my heart goes out to his parents and what they are going through. He was a very pleasant boy and seemed to be well liked by people in the area,” a neighbour said.

Schoolboys arrived at the housing estate yesterday to sympathise with his grieving relatives. Neighbour Jack O’Keeffe said the youngster had “everything going for him”.

“He was a handsome lad. A beautiful lad. We are all devastated... He had everything in life going for him,” he said.

Former Cork City Lord Mayor Chris O’Leary expressed his sympathies with Michael’s family.

“It is a very tragic situation for the family and my deepest condolences go out to them at this time,” Mr O’Leary said.

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