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Sunday 26 January 2020

Tragedy as young hurler drops dead during training session

Cathal Forde
Cathal Forde

Caroline Crawford

A YOUNG Galway engineer living in London has died suddenly during a GAA training session.

Cathal Forde (28), from Gort, Co Galway, is believed to be the latest victim of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) -- or sudden cardiac death. He had had been working as an engineer in London for the past three years.

He collapsed during a training session with the north London GAA club Kilburn Gaels on Tuesday evening and was pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital.

Cathal's brother Niall, who was also at the training grounds when the tragedy occurred, said the family was in shock.

"We were just tipping around, it was nothing too hectic or too hard," he said.

But half-way through the session, Cathal collapsed.

"We looked around and he was on the ground and by that time it was nearly all over. It was something in the heart and he just fell over.

"He was fit as a fiddle before it happened," Niall told the Irish Independent.

He was told by paramedics that the cause of his brother's death was probably SADS. The generally undiagnosed heart condition kills about one person a week in Ireland and high-profile victims include the Tyrone footballer Cormac McAnallen.


Cathal was working as an engineer in London and living with his girlfriend Sile. Yesterday, his parents John and Eileen travelled from their Galway home to England, along with his brothers Sean and Liam.

"He was working away here and things were going very well. He was happy. We're in complete shock," said Niall.

The family is now awaiting the release of Cathal's remains.

Cathal's team-mates yesterday gathered with his family to remember him.

"He was one of the nicest guys you could ever meet, a complete gentleman," said the chairman of Kilburn Gaels, Mick Burke.

Irish Independent

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