Friday 19 January 2018

New family tragedy as teen GAA star dies working out in gym

James Fitzgerald with a friend in a picture taken from Facebook
James Fitzgerald with a friend in a picture taken from Facebook
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

A FAMILY has been hit by another tragedy after a teenage GAA star collapsed and died suddenly as he was training.

James Fitzgerald (16), from Charleville in north Cork, was in a private gym doing weights when he was overcome by illness.

It is not the first tragedy for the Fitzgerald family. James's brother Michael died in tragic circumstances a number of years ago.

And his brother Dessie suffered paralysis after a horrific injury on the hurling field.

According to sources, James dropped to the ground and suffered an unknown illness or "an attack".

It is not known what caused the sudden death of the young footballer and hurler and a post-mortem will be carried out in the coming days.

Sources have said that he was at the home of a friend, who had a specialist gym constructed in his house.

The pair were doing weights when James fell ill.

Paramedics rushed to the scene but the teenager could not be revived.

A garda source described the death as a "tragedy".

"The Fitzgerald family and James are well known in the community and this is an awful sad loss for the family to carry," said the source.

Charleville GAA Club PRO Garrett Barry paid tribute to the young GAA player.

"An autopsy will be carried out. James was an asthmatic so we will wait and see.

"The whole county knew him. He was a terrific footballer and hurler and he also played rugby very well."

His family were said to be in a deep state of shock about the tragedy, which happened on Saturday at about 4pm.

Charleville GAA Club also released a statement on their website yesterday.

Idol

"Charleville Gaa are devastated at the sudden passing of our young player James Fitzgerald, a model player and someone every young player looked up to always with a smile. Even at such a young age you were an idol for all. You will be sadly missed."

Tribute pages were set up last night on Twitter with hundreds of people paying their respects.

A requiem Mass will take place on Thursday at 2pm in the Holy Cross Church, Charleville.

James is survived by his parents Des and Geraldine and his brothers Conor and Dessie.

Irish Independent

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