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Tributes paid to referee who died after collapsing suddenly at camogie match

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
Tributes paid to referee who died after collapsing suddenly at camogie match

Tributes have been paid for the referee who died after collapsing suddenly while at a camogie match in Douglas, Co Cork.

Dad of three, Dominic Rooney (46) took ill while referring an under-16 camogie match between Douglas and Brian Dillons GAA at Douglas Community School shortly after 1.30pm yesterday.

In the second half, Mr Rooney of Carrigtwohill in East Cork, collapsed on the pitch and was immediately taken to Cork University hospital where he died shortly after.

Mary Newman, secretary of the Glen Rovers Camogie club in Cork says the community is in shock at the news.

She said: "He would be a great friend of mine and he would be a great person to referee games.

"I was only speaking to him as late as last Sunday at one of our finals here in Cork. A lovely man, a very fair official, very honourable and very good with the players as well, a great person to deal with the players on the field - fair, firm and honest.

"Everybody I know is in shock that heard it, I was shocked myself when I heard the 

Cork Camogie Chairperson Mary McSweeney described Mr Rooney as “very professional” and “a true gentleman”.

“Anyone who knew Dominic knew exactly how respectful he always was to everyone, especially to us on the county board and to the girls.

“Whoever we were playing he always took plenty of time to explain his decisions and was very professional in his presentations.

“He had a real passion for the game and towards the people he loved. On the field he was a true gentleman and will be very sadly missed.

“We wish to give my sincere of condolences to his wife and children. It is a very sad time for all of us,” she said.

Douglas GAA also offered their condolences on Twitter: “We send condolences to the family of one of our esteemed refs as it is with deep sadness that we have learned of his sudden passing today.”

Born in Newbridge, Co Kildare, Mr Rooney was a sergent in the Irish Defence Forces, attached to the Engineering Corps at Collins Barracks in Cork and had served with the UN in both the Lebanon and Kosovo.