Sunday 22 April 2018

'Words cannot describe the heartbreak' - Tributes paid to man (25) who collapsed playing football

Tallaght Hospital. Inset: Paul Gillen
Tallaght Hospital. Inset: Paul Gillen

Fionnuala Walsh

Tributes have been paid to a Dublin man who passed away unexpectedly on Thursday.

Paul Gillen (25) from Ballyroan, Co Dublin collapsed while playing football with his brothers and a group of his friends.

Paul, who was rushed to Tallaght hospital, was born with a heart condition known as pulmonary stenosis.

The football enthusiast worked alongside his father Padraig at the Thermal Insulation Distributors Ltd in Blanchardstown.

Paul's brother David told Independent.ie that he was "absolutely devastated" following his brother's death.

"He was playing football with myself and our brother when he collapsed. It was devastating," David told Independent.ie.

"He was an outstanding gaelic football player and an incredible soccer player. He had the best left foot I’ve ever seen."

Paul's sister Lisa also paid tribute to her brother.

“I will always look up to you. Words cannot describe the heartbreak we are all feeling. I love you forever big man," Lisa wrote on Facebook.

Football club Firhouse Clover said that the club was "deeply saddened" by Paul's passing.

"The club is deeply saddened to hear some awful news and we offer our condolences to our Saturday team players and brothers Dave and Ryan Gillen on the tragic news on the passing of their brother Paul while playing football on Thursday night”.

Paul is the beloved son of Padraig and Lillian, loving brother to Shaun, Orlagh, David, Ryan and Lisa and grandson of Tony and Kay, Agnes and the late Sean (Walsh).

Paul will be reposing at his home on Sunday evening from 6pm to 8pm. Funeral Mass will be on Monday at 10.00 am in Church of the Holy Spirit, Ballyroan followed by burial in Mount Venus Cemetery.

Paul's sister Lisa asked for mourners to wear red at his funeral as his "one true love" was Liverpool.

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