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Heartfelt tributes pour in for talented 17-year-old GAA star killed in road traffic collision

Luke Byrne was a rising GAA star

Sean Ryan

A Cavan GAA club has been left truly heartbroken after one of its most talented players died in a car crash on Thursday.

In a heartfelt tribute to 17-year-old Luke Byrne, who was killed in a car crash near Bellturbet on Thursday evening, Corlough GAA club stated: "Our hearts are breaking for a young life that had so much to give to this world."

The club described Luke as one of the most talented footballers to ever wear a green and white jersey for Corlough and added that the west Cavan teenager was "highly respected" both on and off the field, by his schoolmates and work colleagues.

In a moving post the club added: ‘’From his underage days playing with Dernacrieve Gaels, he won numerous medals and we knew from the get-go this was one player to watch out for and indeed Luke proved us all right, he was one of the most talented footballers to wear a green and white jersey for Corlough.

It was only this year, at the beginning of 2022, that Luke started playing at senior level and unfortunately a few short months later we must bid farewell to him - it is going to be tremendously hard for us to move on from this.

"When we lose any member of our club we naturally grieve for them - but when we lose a member so young, so full of life and so much to live for, it’s only then you realise we’ve hit rock bottom.’’

Tributes were also paid to Luke by local GAA referee Thomas Doonan who said: ‘’I was always impressed with Luke’s manner on the pitch as I refereed his games from u12 through to senior.

"Deepest sympathy to his family, friends, Corlough GAA, Dernacrieve Gaels, and his school colleagues. At times like these our Communities and, especially the GAA clubs locally, must grieve together." Luke was a 5th year pupil at Saint Mogue’s College in Bawnboy, County Cavan. In a statement the school said: ‘’We received devastating news last night of the tragic loss of one of our 5th years, Luke Byrne in a road traffic accident.

We extended our deepest condolences to Tony, Lorraine and Grace. A book of condolence has been opened in the school. A counsellor and staff will be available for students tomorrow during this time. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam’’. Luke was seriously injured during the collision between Butlersbridge and Belturbet on Thursday evening and was taken to Cavan General Hospital where he later died.

A man in his 40s, and a woman in her 50s are currently being treated at Cavan General Hospital for injuries they sustained during the accident.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to come forward. He is survived by his father Tony, mother Lorraine and sister Grace.

No funeral arrangements have been made as of yet.

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