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Tributes paid to talented teen footballer ‘destined for great things’ who died in tragic car crash


Luke Byrne (17) was described as a talented footballer, with a bright future in Cavan GAA

Luke Byrne (17) was described as a talented footballer, with a bright future in Cavan GAA

Luke Byrne (17) was described as a talented footballer, with a bright future in Cavan GAA

Tributes are being paid to a 17-year-old footballer “destined for great things” but who died tragically after a crash.

Luke Byrne (17), from Bawnboy, Co Cavan, passed away after the car he was travelling in with his mother, Lorraine, was involved in a collision with a truck on the N3 at Kilnaleck in Co Cavan on Thursday evening.

Lorraine, aged in her 50s, is being treated for injuries at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, in Drogheda.

The rural community in Co Cavan, has been rocked by the young man’s death.

Gerry Prior, chair of Corlough GAA Club, told Independent.ie tonight: “To lose a young man so suddenly has devastated our community.

"We’re a small, rural community and a small GAA club.

“Luke’s passing has put a huge dent in our community and club.”

Corlough GAA Club, where Luke had begun playing senior football at the start of this year, posted a tribute online: “Our hearts are breaking for a young life that had so much to give to this world.

“A talented footballer that loved playing football, a team mate that was as solid as a rock and (had) so much to offer in his short life…"

“From his underage days playing with Dernacrieve Gaels, he won numerous medals and we knew from the get-go this was one player to watch out for and indeed, Luke proved us all right.

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“He was one of the most talented footballers to wear a green and white jersey for Corlough.”

The St Mogues College fifth year student was also known for being a talented basketball player and a hard-working young man.

The schoolboy held down a part-time job in a local supermarket and when he wasn’t at school or working, he was at the GAA club, either practising, playing or supporting other players.

“Luke really loved football,” Mr Prior said. “Any spare time he had, it went to GAA.

“He practised on the ground here, he was always kicking a football.

“Luke was a great inspiration to the team. He would have gone on to become a top class player.

“He was in development with Cavan development squad. Luke would have played for Cavan and he would have played to a high standard.”

He remembered Luke as a “wonderful, talented and hard-working young man.”

Mr Prior said Luke had worked in the local supermarket and the boy “would always say hello to everyone.”

“He was always really happy and outgoing,” he added. “He was also a great basketball player.

“Luke loved life. He would play a match for Corlough and then go into the shop to finish his shift, even if it was just for an hour.

“He was a hard working boy. His outlook was good. This is an awful loss.”

The schoolboy won a number of medals during his sporting career, first playing for Dernacrieve Gaels, from the age of 11 up.

And when he turned 17, he joined Corlough GAA Club and was already showing he was capable of a future with Cavan.

One woman wrote online that Luke was a “bright, shining star taken far too soon.”

A man remembered the young sportsman as being “brilliant… with the world at your feet.”

He said it had been an honour to have known Luke and shared the field with him.

"A teammate only for a short time but remembered forever,” he said.

Another man added: “Tough news to hear, great lad to have known and one of the top young footballers coming through.

"Condolences to all the family. RIP Luke.”
Luke is also survived by his father, Tony and older sister, Grace.

Lorraine is also involved with Corlough GAA Club and had been a physio there, as well as helping with organisation.

It’s understood Luke was in a car with his mother when their car collided with a lorry on the N3 in Kilnaleck, Co Cavan at around 6pm on Thursday. His father was not in the car at the time. Luke passed away in Cavan General Hospital.

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to the collision and officers have asked for camera and dash cam footage from anyone who was travelling on the N3 between Butlersbridge and Belturbet, between 5.45pm and 6.30pm on Thursday.

Anyone with any information can call Cavan Garda Station on 049 436 8800, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any garda station.

A book of condolence was opened this evening/last night at Corlough Community Centre.

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