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Tragic Aodhan (14) dies after accidental clash of heads in GAA match


Aodhan O’Conchuir, who died on Saturday evening

Aodhan O’Conchuir, who died on Saturday evening

Aodhan O’Conchuir, who died on Saturday evening

A schoolboy has died three days after suffering a head injury in a freak accident during a GAA match.

Tributes have been paid to Aodhan O'Conchuir (14), who died in Cork University Hospital on Saturday evening.

Aodhan, from Dingle, Co Kerry, was playing for Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne against St Brendan's College, Killarney, in the U-15 Corn Ruiseal in Pairc an Aghasaigh.

However, it is understood there was an accidental clash of heads during the match as two players went for a ball.

Aodhan was injured and treated at the scene.

He was taken for immediate medical attention and it is understood he was conscious in the minutes after the accident.


Aodhan (circled) with his team-mates

Aodhan (circled) with his team-mates

Aodhan (circled) with his team-mates

He was then treated at University Hospital Kerry (UHK).


However, his condition began to worsen and he complained of nausea before beginning to lose consciousness.

He was immediately transferred to Cork University Hospital (CUH), the neurological trauma reference centre for the south.


Kerry GAA star Kieran Donaghy

Kerry GAA star Kieran Donaghy

Kerry GAA star Kieran Donaghy

Despite attempts by surgeons to stabilise his condition, the teenager died on Saturday evening with his heartbroken family by his bedside.

The incident is being treated as a freak accident, and a file will be prepared for a Cork coroner's inquest. As a mark of respect, the Corn Ui Mhuiri final due to take place at the weekend was cancelled.

Kerry GAA legend Kieran Donaghy wrote on Twitter yesterday: "This is just so sad. Nearly lost a cousin in very similar circumstances a few years ago, but we got very lucky.

"To his friends, team-mates, and his family, stick together and gain strength from that.

"Our prayers and thoughts are with ye in these most difficult of times".

Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne said it was "deeply saddened" by the tragedy.

The school was taking steps to provide immediate counselling and support for its students. Many gathered there yesterday to comfort each other.

Prayers for the family were offered at all masses in Dingle and the surrounding area.

Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne principal Padraig Firtear said everyone associated with the school wanted to extend their deepest sympathies to Aodhan's family.

"The entire community of Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne are deeply saddened at the death of our student, Aodhan O'Conchuir," he said.

"At this time we extend our sincere sympathy and our support to his parents John and Aine and his sister Ciara and to his extended family."

Aodhan's family is very well known in Dingle, where his father runs an ice cream business.

Kerry County Board chairman Tim Murphy told Radio Kerry that the entire county was deeply shocked by what had happened.

"Words cannot express adequately the emotions felt by the Kerry GAA community upon hearing this tragic news," he said.


"We are deeply saddened to hear of the untimely passing of this talented young man. Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones. May Aodhan rest in peace."

The Kerry Schoolboys/Girls League said it was "deeply saddened at the passing of one of our soccer family at much too young an age".

"Aodhan was a hugely talented soccer player who was a valued member of the League's ETPs for a number of years and played in the Galway Cup, as well as the Kennedy Cup last June, And of course starred for his club, Camp Juniors," it said in a statement.

"He will always be remembered by those in Kerry's soccer community."