Sunday 17 December 2017

'A sensitive and kind family-orientated man' - tributes paid to Dominic (46) following death reffing camogie game

Cork University Hospital
file photo

Ian Begley

Tributes have been paid for the referee who died after collapsing suddenly while officiating at a camogie match yesterday.

Dad of four, Dominic Rooney (46) took ill while in charge of an under-16 camogie match between Douglas and Brian Dillons GAA at Douglas Community School in Cork shortly after 1.30pm yesterday.

In the second half, Mr Rooney of Carrigtwohill in East Cork, collapsed on the pitch and was immediately taken to Cork University hospital where he died shortly after.

Chairperson of Carrigtwohill camogie club, which Mr Rooney was a member, Lorraine O’Connell described the referee as a "sensitive and kind" man.

She said: "For a gentleman that had four sons, he was a huge advocate and had fantastic support for women's sports.

"He was rising through the ranks as a highly regarded referee in the area. He would always oblige whenever anyone was stuck.

"He was a sensitive and kind family-orientated man who always explained every decision he made to the children on the pitch. He immersed himself in the community.

"There are always a few people in every village that nobody has a bad word to say about and Dominic was one of those people."

Cork Camogie Chairperson Mary McSweeney described Mr Rooney as “very professional” and “a true gentleman”.

“Anyone who knew Dominic knew exactly how respectful he always was to everyone, especially to us on the county board and to the girls.

“Whoever we were playing he always took plenty of time to explain his decisions and was very professional in his presentations.

“He had a real passion for the game and towards the people he loved. On the field he was a true gentleman and will be very sadly missed.

“We wish to give my sincere of condolences to his wife and children. It is a very sad time for all of us,” she said.

Douglas GAA also offered their condolences on Twitter: “We send condolences to the family of one of our esteemed refs as it is with deep sadness that we have learned of his sudden passing today.”

Born in Newbridge, Co Kildare, Mr Rooney was a sergent in the Irish Defence Forces, attached to the Engineering Corps at Collins Barracks in Cork and had served with the UN in both the Lebanon and Kosovo.

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