A talented hurler who represented Laois at senior level has died suddenly in the US.
Father-of-one Paddy Branagan (30), originally from Graiguecullen, had lived in the US for a number of years.
He died unexpectedly in Alabama at the weekend while on a work trip.
Locals in the tight-knit community of Graiguecullen on the Laois/Carlow border are said to be comforting the heartbroken family.
Efforts are being made to bring Mr Branagan’s body home.
Mr Branagan is survived by his son Sonny, his mother and seven siblings.
No funeral arrangements have been made as yet.
In a statement Graigcullen GAA said: ‘’We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the untimely passing of one of our own Paddy Branagan.
"Paddy was a part of the 2010 minor and U21 winning teams. He went on to represent our club with great pride in the intervening years and was an exceptional talent on the field representing both Graiguecullen and Laois.
"Everyone at Graiguecullen GAA sends our condolences to Mary, Lorraine, Peter, Mary Claire, Thomas, Seamie, Sarah, Sonny, Shannon and the extended Branagan family at this sad time. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”
Meanwhile, Paul Dargan, former PRO for Graiguecullen GAA club, said Mr Branagan’s extended family are long-time members of the local club.
He said the club and the entire community of Graiguecullen is trying to come to terms with Mr Branagan’s passing on Sunday.
He said the cause of Mr Branagan’s death has not been revealed but is believed to have been a medical issue.
He said a distraught friend of Mr Branagan’s rang the family from the US to offer his condolences and noted “it could have been any one of us”.
He described Mr Branagan as a popular man.
“He was part of the community. He was a very outgoing member of the community. He was into soccer, football, he was hardworking, he was a dad,” he told Independent.ie.
He said Mr Branagan’s family is now faced with the grim and complicated task of bringing him home but the local community is doing everything it can to assist them. “We’re one little family,” he said.