'Her death has left a massive hole in our family' - tributes to grandmother who died suddenly at GAA match
THE family of a mother-of-five who died suddenly while attending her son's GAA match has spoken of their devastation at her death.
Siobhan McVey (56), from Co Derry, was attending the match between Emmet's GAC Slaughneil and St Patrick's GAC Loup at the Loup ground last Sunday when she fell ill.
Mrs McVey, who was a grandmother-of-two, suffered an aneurysm and a cardiac arrest, collapsing beside her husband Aiden and daughter Catherine.
One of her three sons, Declan, was playing in the match at the time.
Despite frantic efforts to save Mrs McVey, she later died at Antrim Area Hospital.
Speaking to The Irish News, Mrs McVey's son Paul said his mother, who had been a playgroup assistant, "gave her life in the service of others".
"She loved children. Her nature was to look after other people - daddy, her own children and the children in the playgroup. Over the years she was at the playgroup, she would have seen 1,000 plus children coming through the doors," he said.
"She gave us the best childhood ever. Right through my primary school days, she walked us up to school and when we came home you could have smelt the baking as you came in the door, and there would have been clothes warming for you on the radiator.
"We are so blessed because of her and daddy's guidance throughout our lives. She taught us values of respect and good manners, and she was devoted to her faith, which she embedded in us.
"Her life was not without its challenges but she overcame them with her faith and her positive attitude to life. Her death has left a massive hole in our family."
Mr McVey said his mother "had a real zest for life" and enjoyed the simple things.
"She loved nature - watching the birds and looking out at the flowers in the garden. She never asked for anything. What made her happy was when we were happy," he added.
St Patrick's GAC Loup, of which Mrs McVey was a member, paid tribute to her on social media.
"We send our sincere condolences to her husband Aiden, her sons & current playing members Paul, Declan and Niall and daughters Louise and Catherine," they wrote.
"We also extend our condolences to the wider McVey and McLernon families. Siobhan was a loyal supporter and attended all our matches both home and away."