A “rising rugby star” who passed away unexpectedly at his home on New Year’s Eve has been described as a “fantastic teammate” and a “great friend”.
Tributes have been paid to Ben Murray (13) by both Mullingar Rugby Football Club and Leinster Rugby.
In a statement posted on MRFC’s website, the club said: "Ben joined our club as an U.9 [under 9] and has excelled ever since.
"He was a multi-talented athlete who stood out whether he was on the Rugby field, the Gaelic pitch or with a hurl in his hand.
"He was an amazing young man and it was our pleasure to have him as part of our club.
"He was an integral part of our U.14 squad and played at No. 8 with skill, enthusiasm and leadership way beyond his years.
"A fantastic teammate, a great friend to all and will he be very sadly missed by all had the honour and privilege to know him.
"'Big Ben - We will never forget you."
Leinster Rugby also offered their condolences to Ben’s family, tweeting: “Thoughts of everyone in Leinster with Big Ben and his family and friends but in particular dad Boris, mum Alma and little brother Alfie."
Local GAA club St Mary's of Rochfortbridge described the young man as “multi-talented”.
“Ben was a multi-talented young sportsman, playing rugby, hurling, Gaelic football with The Downs GAA club and Westmeath Development squads. We crossed paths with Ben on many occasion with Gaelic football and he really was a very talented young lad.
“Gone but never forgotten.
“Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”
The funeral mass will take place on Wednesday at 12 noon in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Rochfortbridge, with burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.
His family has asked for privacy at this time.