Tears for Killian: Tributes paid as runner (11) dies suddenly in his sleep
A promising young athlete who passed away after being found unresponsive in his bed has been remembered as a "loving and caring child".
Tributes have been paid to Killian Ekhotar (11), a successful sprinter who was discovered by a family member at their Louth home at around 9.30am on Thursday morning.
Emergency services were alerted and the young boy was rushed to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, but he was pronounced dead a short time later.
Gardaí are not treating the death as suspicious and it is believed he passed away suddenly in his sleep at the family's Drogheda home.
Killian was a fifth class pupil at the Le Cheile Educate Together National School, and a member of the Boyne Athletics Club.
A spokesperson for the club described him as one of their most talented athletes and a "loving and caring child".
"Killian will be sadly missed by all his clubmates, coaches and friends within the club and within the wider national running family.
"He always had a smile and was a loving caring child who brought a shine to Boyne AC," the spokesperson told the Irish Independent.
"He inspired all around him and was a pleasure to coach. He will always be in our hearts on and off the track," they added.
The club said Killian has been a member since the age of seven, and that he soon became known as a talented sprinter and long jumper.
He won several medals at county, provincial and national level. He was also part of one of Boyne and Louth's most successful relay teams, with which he had his biggest achievements and proudest moments.
The team, all close friends, finished second in the All Ireland Outdoor Relays in 2017, and replicated this in the 2018 Indoor Championships a week ago.
Killian is survived by his parents Alicia and Francis, his brother Edison and his extended family and friends.
A ceremony celebrating Killian's life will be held in Drogheda Grammar School at 1pm on Sunday, before burial at Newtown Cross Lawn Cemetery.