Wednesday 24 July 2019

Shock at death of sporting hero Phéilam Byrne

Young Greystones dad (29) laid to rest on Monday

The late Phéilam Byrne
The late Phéilam Byrne

Mary Fogarty

A large crowd of mourners attended the Holy Rosary Church in Greystones on Monday for the funeral of Phéilam Byrne of Crowe Abbey.

There was shock and sadness across the town when Phéilam died suddenly after collapsing at home last Thursday.

The young father had just turned 29 and was very well liked. Phéilam had played hurling with Eire Óg and been a member of Greystones Rowing Club from a young age. He also played for a time with Greystones United. He had been looking forward to taking part in the regatta in August along with members of his family. He was a tree surgeon and worked with his father Anto in that profession.

The national flag was at half mast at Greystones Fire Station on Monday, as a mark of respect to the late Greystones man. Phéilam's dad was a former fire fighter, and his uncles Alan and Willie are current members of the fire service in Greystones.

In a statement on behalf of the committee and club, Greystones Rowing Club expressed their condolences to Phéilam's family.

'Phéilam Byrne was a valued member of our club from the time he was big enough to handle an oar along with his dad and siblings,' they said.

He was a talented man with an oar who had great success winning races from under-14 up to minor and then winning intermediate and junior men's races.

Cllr Gerry Walsh had coached Phéilam from under-14 level at Eire Óg and said that he had been one of the club's most skilled and athletic players. He was a member of the team which claimed victory in the intermediate hurling championship of 2011.

In a statement on Facebook, the club said that Phéilam's ability as a hurler came to notice under the experienced eye of Con O'Suileabhain when he was a student in St Laurence's nS.

'Soon he was showing his skills at under age level for Éire Óg. Such was his ability, strength and courage that he was playing U16 as a twelve year old,' the club said.

'Indeed he once scored a winning goal by flicking the ball away from an opposition defender who was winding up for a big clearance. He buried the sliotar in the net and then took shelter beside the largest of the 16 year olds.'

Cllr Walsh said that Phéilam would always have a word for everyone, and was very popular among his team mates, both on the field and off.

An Eire Óg jersey was among the items brought to the altar at the Holy Rosary on Monday, to commemorate his life.

Phéilam is survived by his parents Anto and Louise, partner Debbie and their son Jayden, his brothers Shaun, Anto Junior and Liam Óg, sisters Colleen Bláthnaid, grandparents Shay, Joan and Margaret, sister-in-law Samantha, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, extended family and many friends.

Friends and loved ones listened to some of Phéiliam's favourite music as he was laid to rest in Redford Cemetery following the funeral Mass.

Bray People