Monday 23 April 2018

'We are devastated. He was a treasured member of our underage teams' - Tributes paid to talented Kerry teenager (14)

Aodhán O'Connchuhair (14) died at Cork University Hospital (CUH) on Saturday evening just three days after being injured during a schools Gaelic football match in Kerry.
Aodhán O'Connchuhair (14) died at Cork University Hospital (CUH) on Saturday evening just three days after being injured during a schools Gaelic football match in Kerry.

Ger Keville and Ralph Riegel

TRIBUTES have been paid to a teenage Kerry GAA player who died three days after being injured in an accident during a schools match.

Aodhán O'Connchuhair (14) died at Cork University Hospital (CUH) on Saturday evening just three days after being injured during a schools Gaelic football match in Kerry.

Aodhán, from Dingle, was playing for Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne against St Brendan's College, Killarney, in the prestigious Corn Ruiseál in Páirc an Ághasaigh.

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

Aodhán was injured and was treated at the scene.

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

Aodhán was initially treated at University Hospital Kerry (UHK).

However, his condition began to worsen and he was transferred to Cork University Hospital (CUH), the neurological trauma reference centre for the south.

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

As a mark of respect, the Corn Uí Mhuirí final due to take place last weekend was cancelled.

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

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

Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne principal, Pádraig Firteár, said everyone associated with the school wanted to extend their deepest sympathies to Aodhán's heartbroken family.

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

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

"We are devastated. He was a treasured member of our underage teams since under-8s," Dingle GAA Coiste na nÓg Chairperson Mícheál Murt Ó Muircheartaigh told Independent.ie.

"His family is steeped in sporting tradition. He was talented, intelligent and he will be sorely missed by everyone. We are utterly devastated."

The Chairman of Kerry County Board, Tim Murphy, told Radio Kerry the entire county was deeply shocked by what happened.

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

Mr Murphy said everyone associated with Kerry GAA wanted to extend their heartfelt condolences to Aodhan's family, friends and classmates at Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne.

“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 Aodhán rest in peace. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam," he said.

Dingle GAA paid tribute Aodhán on their Facebook page.

"All Dingle GAA are truly saddened at the tragic loss of our young footballer Aodhán O'Connor. Aodhán will be deeply missed by his loving mom Áine, dad John, sister Ciara and all his teammates. All our thoughts, sympathies and prayers are with Aodhán's family and friends. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis."

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