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Saturday 17 March 2018

Tributes to sports-mad teen who died during GAA match

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

A GAA player who suddenly collapsed and died on the pitch during a game despite desperate efforts to revive him was just two days short of his 17th birthday.

Patrick Dinsmore (16), from Warrenpoint, Co Down, was due to celebrate his birthday today and collect his GCSE results.

Instead, his devastated family are now preparing for his funeral, which takes place tomorrow.

The talented footballer from St Peter's GAA Club was just 15 minutes into a minor football fixture against neighbours St Bronagh's in Rostrevor on Sunday when he collapsed without warning.

A doctor and two nurses who were present at the match immediately ran to his aid and a defibrillator was used to try and revive him.

They worked on him on the pitch for up to 25 minutes before he was brought by ambulance to Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry.

The teenager's parents, Bernard and Deirdre, rushed to the GAA grounds in Rostrevor from their home two miles away in Warrenpoint and were with him before he was taken to hospital.

Medical staff continued intensive efforts to resuscitate him. However, he was pronounced dead later that evening.


Patrick's uncle, Liam Dinsmore, said the family was in shock following the sudden death of the teenager.

"The family is absolutely devastated. He was so full of life," he added.

Speaking to the Irish Independent yesterday, Feargal McCormack, a spokesman for the St Peter's club, said that Patrick's teammates had been offered counselling.

"It was about 15 minutes into the game when Patrick collapsed. He wasn't on the ball nor had he been involved in any incidents beforehand.

"The Warrenpoint players and parents came back here to the clubrooms and we were hoping for good news, but unfortunately that didn't happen. It was a very dignified but sad occasion.

"This morning in the clubrooms here in Warrenpoint players have been coming and going and we also have pictures of Patrick here," he added.

The teenager's remains were later brought to Belfast where a post-mortem examination took place before they were returned to his family home in Warrenpoint last night.

Patrick, who is survived by his parents and younger sister Catherine, had played for the club since the age of eight.

He was a student at St Colman's College in Newry and was due to collect his GCSE results today.


"He was a lovely lad, six feet tall with a great personality," said Mr McCormack.

"He was very much into his sport. He was out cycling on Sunday morning and then was playing football that evening."

Patrick's funeral Mass takes place at St Peter's Church in Warrenpoint tomorrow at noon and his teammates will form a guard of honour.

His family have asked mourners not to bring flowers but to make donations to the Cormac Trust. The trust was established following the death of All-Ireland winning Tyrone captain Cormac McAnallen who died from sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 24.

Meanwhile, GAA president Christy Cooney said yesterday that his thoughts and prayers were with Patrick's family, his wide circle of friends and the players and members of his club.

"Patrick was a sporting young man who was extremely popular amongst this peers. We offer the heartfelt condolences of the entire Association at this tragic time and hope that Patrick will remain in the memory of those who were lucky enough to know him for many years to come."

The tragedy comes just days before Down face Kildare in the All-Ireland football semi-final this Sunday, a game the young footballer was looking forward to.

The GAA is expected to announce on Thursday that there will be a minute's silence to commemorate the teenager before Sunday's game at Croke Park. There will also be a tribute to him in the match programme.

Irish Independent

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