Tragic dad  | 

Funeral details for former Ireland soccer player who died after Limerick assault announced

'I am so sorry for your loss lads and I will miss my best friend so you Al'

Alan Bourke

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

Condolences have continued to flow in for tragic former Republic of Ireland junior soccer player Alan Bourke who died following an assault in Limerick on Good Friday.

Father-of-two Alan (48), who was originally from St Mary's Park in Limerick was the victim of a fatal attack outside Colbert Train station on Parnell Street at 10.25pm.

A source said gardaí are investigating if an argument which began inside the station spilled out on to Parnell Street where Alan sustained a fatal blow.

Alan will be reposing at Cross's Funeral Home this Thursday evening from 5pm to 6.30pm. Requiem Mass will take place on Friday, in St Mary's Church, Athlunkard Street, at 11am, with burial afterwards in Castlemungret Cemetery.

A notice on says states that the death has occurred of Alan Bourke, of St Munchin's Street, St Mary's Park, Limerick City.

It adds: “Late of St Mary's R.F.C. & Shannon R.F.C; Mungret - Regional F.C. and Star Rovers FC. Predeceased by his mother Christina Bourke (nee Leamy).

“Very deeply regretted by his loving father Mike, sister Diane, brother Barry, son Matt, brother in law Dermot, aunts, uncles all other relatives and many friends.”

Numerous messages of sympathy have been left in the condolences section, with one that reads: “So sad for your loss Mick. May Alan rest in peace.”

Another adds: “Alan may you rest in peace now. May heaven be your gentle bed.”

One person has written: “To the Bourke family, my deepest sympathy. Alan was a fabulous guy when I knew him from way back in the 90s. Lost contact over the years but often thought of him. Hopefully he in a better place and he will be remembered fondly.”

One bereaved person described “Al” as “my best friend and life is never going to be the same. I am so sorry for your loss lads and I will miss my best friend so much love you Al.”

Alan's best friend, Dylan Cleary, who lived with Alan on the streets for a period of three years, had earlier spoken of his heartbreak at his friend's death.

"I knew Alan the last seven years … we lived together on the streets for three of them," he said.

"He had a son and a daughter and they meant the world to him. He had been doing better in recent times … we both were.

"We had both been in hospital at the same time and the last time I spoke to him was in the hospital four weeks ago.

"He had lost his accommodation in Mallow because another person living there had acted up and the landlord put them out.

Outside Limerick's railway station where the fatal assault happened. Photograph Liam Burke/Press 22

"He was back on the streets in Limerick since. I had asked him to come to Tipperary to stay with me but he didn't want to come to Tipperary.

"Alan was my best friend and we did everything together. I'm heartbroken this has happened.

Dylan said Alan had been a very talented footballer in his day but ultimately his addictions had cost him any prospects of a career in football.

Alan was a talented striker with Mungret Regional FC, winning a Munster Junior Cup Final in 1994. He received his Irish cap in 1996 after helping his club to a FAI junior cup final the same year.

Regional club chairman, Tony O'Byrne said: "Alan was definitely a huge part of the team back then, he would have had scored 20-plus goals a season, he wore the club's number 9 shirt, he was a real goal poacher, and he was a really talented player for the club.

"He joined the club when he was 17 and played minor for two years under manager Dermot Doolan and went on to play junior under Pat Irwin.

"He was on the 1994 Munster junior cup-winning team that were also FAI Cup runners up in 1996. Alan had exceptional talent, and he is a great loss to his football family, may he rest In peace."

Gardaí in Roxboro Road are appealing for anyone with information about the incident to contact them.

A spokesperson said: "Any person who was in the Parnell Street, Lord Edward Street and Davis Street areas of Limerick last night, between 10pm and 10.40pm, who may have camera footage of the area is asked to make this available to gardaí.

Any person with any information which may be relevant to the investigation should contact Roxboro Road Garda Station on 061 214 340, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda station."

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