Thursday 23 November 2017

Organs of tragic schoolboy Oisin McGrath (13) to give life to others

Oisin McGrath
Oisin McGrath

Chris Kilpatrick and Adrian Rutherford

The organs of a 13-year-old schoolboy will give the gift of life to others, as tributes poured in last night following his death.

Oisin McGrath passed away in hospital yesterday - three days after he was critically injured in a playground incident.

The young GAA player is understood to have suffered a traumatic head injury in the incident during a game of football at St Michael's College in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh.

Oisin had been on life support at the Royal Victoria Hospital, but his family took the decision to withdraw it.

The Belfast Trust confirmed Oisin's death shortly before 7.30pm last night.

But amid their devastation, Oisin's parents Nigel and Sharon consented to the donation of their beloved son's organs. The family hoped the organs could be used to save other lives.

Tributes were paid in the McGraths' home village of Belcoo, where neighbours and friends had attended a special mass on Wednesday night.

The life support machine was gradually withdrawn throughout yesterday as Oisin's parents maintained a vigil at his bedside. Local priest Fr Seamus Quinn said the family were told there were "no signs of life" and they were "going to donate his organs".

Fr Seamus Quinn had been at the victim's bedside.

He said: "People were shocked when they heard that there were no signs of life and the support would be gradually removed."

St Michael's is a Catholic boys' grammar school with 700 pupils.

Fr Quinn said Oisin was a very well-grounded and well-rounded young teenager.

"He was happy and helpful, genuinely helpful, intelligent young fella.

"They are a well-loved and well-respected family, they are solid, salt of the earth people, faith-based people, Christian people."

He said the community in Belcoo had been united in prayer for Oisin, with 500 people attending Catholic Mass on Wednesday night at St Patrick's Church in Holywell - a small village outside Belcoo.

"There is a silence in the village, there was a silence after Mass last night, naturally people were just dumbfounded and in shock.

"For anybody who has children it is their worst nightmare."

The teenager played Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) football in Belcoo. His mother Sharon is secretary in the local club.

The school said: "A group of students were playing at lunchtime when one student became unwell and we sought medical assistance."

Irish Independent

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