Sunday 19 January 2020

'A real hero' - Tributes paid to soldier (23) who died after falling ill on army exercise

Man named locally as Daniel Donougher

Sarsfield barracks and inset many soldiers are posting an image of the defence forces logo with a black band through it.
Sarsfield barracks and inset many soldiers are posting an image of the defence forces logo with a black band through it.

Cathal McMahon

Tributes have been paid to a soldier who died after falling ill during physical training at an Irish army barracks..

The soldier, named locally as Private Daniel Donougher (23) from Mallow, Co Cork, was found at approximately 1.20pm on Thursday in his bed at Sarsfield Barracks, Limerick.

He was taken by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick where he later died. has learned that Mr Donougher had recently completed his two-star training course.

He was stationed with the 12th battalion in Limerick city.

The death is not being treated as suspicious. An investigation will be carried out for the purposes of the coroner.

In a statement, released this afternoon, the Defence Forces said:

"Yesterday afternoon, a serving soldier (23), sadly passed away having fallen ill while at work in Sarsfield Barracks, Limerick.

"The soldier fell ill during the unit’s Organised Recreational Physical Training and was found in an unresponsive state by his colleagues a short time later.

"The unit’s medics were called on-scene and administered CPR, he was then transferred to University Hospital Limerick. Despite the best efforts of the Defence Forces Medics and hospital staff he passed away."

The Defence Forces confirmed that they are providing a liaison officer to "offer any assistance to his family during this difficult time". 

This evening tributes were paid to Pte Donougher online with many of his friends changing their profile pictures to an image of the Defence Forces logo with a black band across it.

One colleague said: “You were a real hero, Daniel Donougher, we will all miss you."

A family member said they were in shock and were deeply upset by the tragedy.

"It is very hard really," she said.

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Authority said they are not aware of the case.

"We would only investigate if it was due to work activity and even then we may not. Military on active duty or manoeuvres are exempt from health and safety legislation.

He will be buried with full military honours.

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