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Friday 15 December 2017

Talented sportsman Luke (18) dies just days after finishing Leaving Cert exams

Luke O'Brien May on left, please crop man on right of photo
Luke O'Brien May on left, please crop man on right of photo

Rory Tevlin

A talented young sportsman has died just days after finishing his Leaving Certificate exams.

Tributes were being paid across Limerick to Luke O'Brien May (18), who completed his final exam in biology on Tuesday of last week.

The Castletroy College pupil, from Grange, fell ill late last week and was brought to the University Hospital Limerick. He was later transferred to University College Cork, where he died on Sunday.

Padraig Flanagan, principal of Castletroy College, said it was "mourning a very valued member of the school community".

Mr Flanagan said the school's crisis response team was offering support to students who were struggling to cope with the loss of a friend and trying to complete the last of their exams this week.

A photograph of Luke, alongside a candle and a book of condolences, has been placed in the prayer room to allow his classmates time to grieve and reflect on his life.

"He was a very popular young man and he was a very involved sportsman, in a wide range of sports in the school and outside the school.

"Our deepest sympathies and condolences are with his family at this time," Mr Flanagan told the 'Limerick Leader'.

Fr John Daly, parish priest for Bruff, Grange and Meanus, said there was "ferocious shock" in the community.

"There is just complete numbness and silence. It's a terrible tragedy. People are caught for words. He was a beautiful young boy and served as a former altar boy here in Grange church. There are no words for it," said Fr Daly.

An enthusiastic hurling, football, rugby and basketball player, one of his managers with Aisling Annacotty AFC, John Doyle, said Luke was known for his "shy smile" and scored one of the best and most memorable goals for the club in an under-17 final.

Elaine Joyce, another manager in Aisling Annacotty AFC, said Luke played with the club for five years and their "memories of Luke are new boots, new boots and new boots".

"The most up-to-date and most colourful [boots] - nearly one for everyone in the audience. It would not be unheard of for him to change in the middle of a game," she said.

The eldest son of Brìd and Denis, his funeral takes place today at Our Lady Help of Christians Church, Milford, Castletroy, at noon. He will be buried afterwards in Bansha Church Cemetery.

Irish Independent

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